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The Importance of Understanding Donor Preference and Relationship Cultivation Strategies

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Abstract

Relationship cultivation has been identified as a critical component of fundraising success. Cultivation strategies derived from interpersonal communication theory were identified and evaluated by the donors and fundraising team members from three nonprofit hospitals. Using co‐orientation methodology, statistical analysis reveals that donors and fundraisers agree that the six strategies are beneficial. However, their perceptions that they hold similar views as the other side were not accurate in terms of the magnitude of the ratings. These differences are discussed and suggestions are provided to bring both sides of the nonprofit organization‐donor relationship closer to agreement.
... Therefore, fundraising has become a vital component of the day-to-day activities of charitable nonprofit organizations. The Public Relations scholarly literature underlines the crucial role played by the relationship cultivation strategies in fundraising and communication activities (Ki and Hon, 2006, 2009Waters, 2008Waters, , 2009Jo, 2006). Waters (2007) defined fundraising as the management of relationships between a non-profit organization and its donor public, entirely different from previous definitions in which fundraising is primarily understood as "the seeking of gifts from various sources as conducted by non-profit organizations". ...
... Therefore, fundraising has become a vital component of the day-to-day activities of charitable nonprofit organizations. The Public Relations scholarly literature underlines the crucial role played by the relationship cultivation strategies in fundraising and communication activities (Ki and Hon, 2006, 2009Waters, 2008Waters, , 2009Jo, 2006). Waters (2007) defined fundraising as the management of relationships between a non-profit organization and its donor public, entirely different from previous definitions in which fundraising is primarily understood as "the seeking of gifts from various sources as conducted by non-profit organizations". ...
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Dialogic communication, which derives from a two-way symmetrical communication model, is considered to be an important foundation for long-lasting positive relationships with organizations and the public. The purpose of the current study was to examine the largest Polish Public Benefit Organization Web sites to determine the extent to which they use dialogic communication rules in relationship building. Also, the relation between the Web site dialogic potential and the amount of organizational revenue was scrutinized. The revenue was analyzed on two levels: total revenue acquired during the tax year and the amount of the annual 1 % of personal income tax. The results of the study indicate that Web sites of analyzed organizations fail to fully implement the dialogic communication principles. The statistical correlation between the sum of annual revenue and 1 % of personal income tax and the utilization of dialogic principles was partially supported. Non-profits appeared to show their greatest strengths in providing basic information to online users, such as a mission statement, organization logo and history, short loading time, general contact information on the homepage and major links on the homepage to subpages. Organizational division into three clusters highlighted quite significant differences in the utilization of dialogic principles. The Web sites of the largest Polish PBOs in terms of total annual revenue and 1 % of personal income tax are characterized by significantly higher dialogic communication potential. © 2018, Kauno Technologijos Universitetas. All rights reserved.
... Bortree (2010) added guidance (i.e., providing directions and guidelines), and found that guidance, assurances, and shared tasks were key relationship cultivation strategies for adolescent volunteer nonprofits. Waters (2009) found that fundraising teams correctly estimated that donors preferred openness, and that the donors preferred networking least. Men et al. (2017) found that Chinese start-ups used communicating values and vision, empowerment, authentic communication, and proactive reporting to cultivate relationships. ...
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Through creating shared value (CSV) initiatives, companies have attempted to contribute to solving social problems that the public sector cannot address alone, such as migration, health, climate change, and job losses due to automation. Companies are also using CSV as business opportunities to develop their competitiveness. Only a few studies, however, have examined how organizations can develop and implement CSV programs, and the outcomes of those programs. We conducted a case study on how a multinational company, Yuhan-Kimberly, a joint venture of Kimberly-Clark and Yuhan, developed and implemented its CSV program, and created win-win, mutually beneficial impacts, in response to an increasingly aging society in Korea. South Korea is the world’s most rapidly aging society with the highest poverty and suicide rates among older adults. Yuhan-Kimberly’s CSV initiative includes fostering small-sized senior care businesses, creating jobs for older adults, changing the negative perception of older adults, and ultimately creating a market ecosystem for the older adult care industry. We used triangulation through company documents, including annual sustainability reports (N = 10), news reports (N = 623), company-conducted survey results (N = 80), and in-depth interviews (N = 14) with employees and members of other organizations and publics. The results reveal how the company developed and implemented a CSV program to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships and shared value for the company, older adults, other organizations, and society. The results indicate that CSV programs can be powerful relationship cultivation strategies to create mutual benefits both for society, by providing sustainable and feasible solutions, and for organizations, by enhancing their competitive advantages.
... These findings complement and extend the findings of Waters (2008Waters ( , 2009a regarding relationship building between fundraiser and donor. These previous studies reported how donors and fundraisers both report a positive relationship, but also recommend certain strategies to strengthen their connection (Waters, 2009). Waters (2008) also found relationship satisfaction differences from the perspective of the donor, depending on whether they were a major donor or an annual donor. ...
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Agency theory and stewardship theory are both widely accepted within the corporate governance literature but it is unclear whether these theories are compatible or competing explanations of principal-agent relationships. This study used an inductive approach to integrate agency theory and stewardship theory in the context of non-profit sport organizations. Drawing on interviews with gift officers for athletic departments and employing a Gioia methodology for analysis, this article asks: How do athletic foundations reconcile their priorities with financers’ interests when creating gift-financed projects? Findings show seven scenarios where athletic department priorities are reconciled with donor interests, ranging from scenarios where athletic department priorities prevail over donor interests to scenarios where donor interests come first. The ideal scenario, a cultivated donor base, is a special case and the only situation described by a perfect stewardship relationship. This article contributes a continuum model that blends agency theory and stewardship theory.
... These findings complement and extend the findings of Waters (2008Waters ( , 2009a regarding relationship building between fundraiser and donor. These previous studies reported how donors and fundraisers both report a positive relationship, but also recommend certain strategies to strengthen their connection (Waters, 2009). Waters (2008) also found relationship satisfaction differences from the perspective of the donor, depending on whether they were a major donor or an annual donor. ...
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Agency theory and stewardship theory are both widely accepted within the corporate governance literature but it is unclear whether these theories are compatible or competing explanations of principal-agent relationships. This study used an inductive approach to integrate agency theory and stewardship theory in the context of non-profit sport organizations. Drawing on interviews with gift officers for athletic departments and employing a Gioia methodology for analysis, this article asks: How do athletic foundations reconcile their priorities with financers’ interests when creating gift-financed projects? Findings show seven scenarios where athletic department priorities are reconciled with donor interests, ranging from scenarios where athletic department priorities prevail over donor interests to scenarios where donor interests come first. The ideal scenario, a cultivated donor base, is a special case and the only situation described by a perfect stewardship relationship. This article contributes a continuum model that blends agency theory and stewardship theory.
... On the other side of the financial "coin" is accessing funds. Leaders (in con- at least) have responsibilities for cultivating relationships with funders which includes strategies established by research (Waters, 2009), namely: openness (most important for donors), task sharing (next most important, covering funders' assistance with service provision, training etc.), assurance (commitments to maintain the relationship), access (being visible to funders), positivity, and networking. A key finding from Waters' (2009) research is that leaders should regularly dialogue with donors to understand the emphasis to place across these six strategies. ...
... Ultimately, this may translate into sufficient funds to achieve statutory goals. This dependence on stakeholders is clearly emphasised in the literature of the subject (especially for nonprofit organisations), emphasising the fact that the organisation's stakeholder is a potential financial donor, a volunteer or just a person supporting ideas associated with a specific organisation (Waters 2008(Waters , 2009; Hon, 2007, 2008). In this context, building and shaping positive relationships is a key condition for the success of the nonprofit organisation and its special form -the PBO. ...
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Thesis
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Chapter
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