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Fundamentals of Fundraising Series: Module 4 - Building & Sustaining Relationships

December 6, 2012


Relationships are the key to fundraising success, and successful relationships start with knowing current and prospective donors well. This module will introduce the powerful role of prospect and donor research, including identifying and segmenting prospects and donors according to appropriate variables as well as effective donor records management to support ongoing relationships. Finally, cultivation, establishing and maintaining relationships with individuals and organizations, and optimizing relationships to retain donors rounds out the module.

Objectives: After this module, you'll be better able to:

• Explain the role of research in identifying individuals and groups with the capacity and potential to give in order to qualify 
  them for further research and cultivation efforts.

• Describe examples of effective cultivation strategies and identify steps to use to maximize gift return on an ongoing basis.

• Identify the basic elements of good relationships with volunteers, donors, and qualified prospects.

• Cite examples of effective relationship-building strategies.

• Define "stewardship" and describe its role in building lasting relationships.

• Discuss application of appropriate acknowledgement, acceptance, and recognition policies and practices.


John Rivas, CFRE, currently serves as Vice President of Development for the Florida United Methodist Children's Home. Mr. Rivas leads a development team of eighteen and is responsible for providing innovative and strategic leadership in the planning, implementation, and administration of the Children's Home comprehensive development, alumni affairs, and public relations programs and initiatives. Currently, he is coordinating the first-ever statewide capital campaign to construct a 300-acre Youth Ranch in North Florida for the Children's Home.  A certified fund-raising executive with over twenty-three years of development experience, John has served in positions of leadership in several local chapters of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, as well as a past member of the U.S. Government Relations Committee. He has presented at numerous local, regional and national events and has written extensively for national publications.

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