1. Find the intersection between the goals of potential donors and partners and the opportunities to affect change via the mission at hand. Consider the matchmaking process like creating an algorithm for impact: where a donor or partner’s interest lies, there must be an opportunity to deliver mission relevant work that matches across geographies, substance and/or benefit to humanity. Don’t feel as though it's about chasing the funding. Simply calculating the best return on investment for a partner, which is both necessary for the success of the partnership, and provides assurance that work will get funded longer term, is what it's all about.
Photo: Lake Toba, N. Sumatra, Indonesia
2. Balance partner demands with delivery demands. Different personalities will come through in times of stress or excitement, and being prepared to manage each constituent (i.e. partner/donor AND funding recipient) so as to protect the partnership and also the integrity of the work is important. Relish in the mediator role. Certain mission driven work is highly stress inducing, so utilizing a connection point between partner/donor and delivery outlet as an opportunity to keep everyone engaged in an actionable and productive way will be useful.
3. Being reminded repeatedly that we are all humans, with an instinct to make tomorrow a better day than yesterday, and the future more meaningful than the past, helps avoid the doldrums of the sale. Maintaining the integrity of the work and the needs of the people served helps move the sale forward towards the ultimate aim which is delivering impact.
As a mission-driven organization, it can feel like a continuous struggle to manage both project impact along with the needs of partners and/or donors. Resources will alway be the gateway to accomplishing mission-driven work, so the need for fundraisers, partnership developers or donor managers is unavoidable. In order to manage these relationships properly, being a salesperson is critical. For those who care deeply about the mission at hand, however, considering sales a key element of the project can seem downright fraudulent. Resource constraints mean that all potential engagements are on the table, and thus in order to deliver good, meaningful work, building relationships and focusing efforts on those organizations that can fund into the future is necessary. To move past the sale, and focus on the mission delivery at all costs, there are several approaches that will help:
What Connections Can We Make Today?
We love to share our thoughts on the connections contributing to improving our planet. Please share your thoughts as well.