Donor Networking and Relationship Management – Participants’ Feedback

By Amanda Rigali on

Frances Tipper photoFrances Tipper led our training session on Donor Networking and Relationship Management at the Jerwood Space, London, on the 1st October 2014.

Frances designed this training to help participants make the right first impression with donors and funders, develop rapport and manage ongoing relationships.

A number of us are probably quite uncomfortable admitting that we need to brush up our skills in stakeholder relationship-management – surely this should come naturally to people working in the arts?  In reality, business relationships take considerable skill and confidence to develop and manage, and training can really help increase both of these.

The participants discussed their objectives at the beginning of the workshop.  They were wide-ranging, covering everything from corporate fundraising, moving away from a desk, how to set up a networking event, clarity around the ask, defining the mission of a company, identifying potential patrons, “up-sell” to existing donors, keeping in touch and stakeholder management!

There was a great deal of experience in the group, and the participants really came together and successfully shared ideas with each other.

Frances gathered the following “take away” comments from participants about what they felt they had learned during the day and could put into practice the next day:

·      ‘There is no need to apologise or be modest about your work, and it is important to be clear about why you’re doing it.’

·      ‘I learned how to approach a group at a networking event, manage introductions and the need for tangible examples of what we do and what support means.’

·      ‘The importance of focusing on the project rather than the organisation in a targeted pitch.’

·      ‘Building personal rapport and networking. How to step in and out of a conversation politely.’

·      ‘Closing techniques for conversations and how to pitch an idea.’

·      ‘How to approach people with confidence.’

·      ‘How to refine and focus your ask.’

·      ‘The importance of using a story.’

·      ‘Use tangible, inspiring examples and focus on what the donors could do. Be emphatic about the importance and need.’

·      ‘The donor doesn’t need to understand the whole thing. Just focus on certain areas that are relevant to them.’

·      ‘Confidence at networking events, closing conversations, developing more strategic conversations.’

Frances reflected that it was a brilliant group to work with; she will definitely be keeping in touch with them to find out how they are doing.

What do you find most challenging about Donor Networking?  We’d love to hear your views.

Frances Tipper’s Developing High Level Negotiation, Influencing and Pressentation Skills training will be at Artsadmin, London the 14th October 2014.

Donor Networking and Relationship Management training will return at the People’s History Museum, Manchester on the 18th November 2014.

Posted by Amanda Rigali

Amanda is Director of Strategic Development at Cause4, and Head of the Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy Programme. As well as running the Programme, Amanda runs fundraising training sessions for cultural professionals across England and offers intensive strategy support to a range of charities.

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