How to build trust with corporate funding partners
Would you go out of your way to help someone you didn’t like, respect and trust? Would you lend them money? Would you give them money? Of course, when you ask clients for donations, they know that the money’s not going into your own personal pocket – but they still need to be able to trust that you’ll be using it efficiently and wisely for the cause.
Showing transparency of how donations will be used is a vital part of the relationship-building process. Clients may not ask for a detailed breakdown every time, but the information has to be constantly available to them if necessary. If you can’t account for how every single penny was spent, that will start to damage the atmosphere of trust.
Communication is an important part of any strong relationship, and business partnerships are no different to any other. Check in with your client regularly, even if (in fact, especially if) you’re not asking for donations. Make them feel that they’re part of the story. Good relationships are a two way street - we’ve all fallen out with friends at some point because we feel that the relationship is too one-sided, and clients don’t want to feel that you’re only interested in them for cash. If they’ve donated to your animal rescue charity to fund new runs and bedding, send some pictures of cosy, happy dogs. If your cause is a wildlife or ecology project, notify your client of the dates that volunteers will be out working and ask if their staff would like to join in. Strong relationships are a journey, not a destination.
To find out more about how to get started as a corporate fundraiser, our Corporate Fundraising Toolkit for Beginners has everything you need.