Transparency, Listening and Adaptability; Your Three Keys to Success

Every day through email, RSS feeds and Facebook we receive newsletters, tips from friends, news articles and more. Keeping up in our continually evolving world is a big time investment, albeit one we feel strongly about. Today, we’d like to share a few paragraphs from a recent newsletter sent by colleagues who attended the recent 2009 Bridge Conference hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Washington DC Metro Area Chapter and the Direct Marketing Association of Washington.

from Charity Dynamics:

It seems there were three key themes that were pervasive throughout: Transparency, Listening and Adaptability.

Transparency! In today’s challenging economic times, the competition is stiffer than ever for dollars, supporters, and volunteers. And in the age of social networking, your constituents have more channels than ever before to voice their experiences about your nonprofit. These two factors make it more important than ever to: clearly articulate your core mission anywhere and everywhere you can; provide detailed and concrete information on the work that you do; define and communicate what sets your organization apart; and maintain an open and honest dialogue conversation with constituents on a variety of channels.

Listening! Essential to building relationships with your constituents is listening to their motivations, concerns, and ideas. This includes everything from the one-on-one conversations you have with them, to monitoring blogs, news stories, and other discussions across the Web. Finding out what your constituents are already saying about you is integral to learning about how you can communicate and connect with them more effectively.

Adaptability! With technology evolving at a rapid-pace and enduring economic uncertainty, adaptability means always having the knowledge and tools to keep your constituents engaged and committed to your cause. This can mean testing uncertain waters, whether it’s a new communication channel or a new style of framing your fundraising messages.

With only five months left in the year, your end-of-year fundraising campaigns will be ramping up before you know it. Take the time now to assess your transparency, capacity to listen and adaptability so you are prepared to capture the most of the year-end giving season.