A foundational marketing principle that tends to get lost in the bells and whistles of technological advances is the concept of personally identifying and developing ever-widening circles of potential support. This unfortunate yet easily corrected oversight on the part of many boards is due to lack of a systematic process for determining linkages to those with an ability and interest (latent or demonstrated) in the organization’s work.

Ironically, technological advancements make this timeless process even more relevant and more beneficial to conduct with increasing frequency. Why? Because we can all connect to each other so easily on various platforms. Every week and for varying reasons, board members are probably adding new prospects to their virtual organizer. Regardless of why those contacts are added, they provide increasing numbers of potential supporters of your nonprofit mission.

When board members are well-versed in both current programs and potential projects, every communication with a new or existing relationship is an opportunity to plant a seed about the mission and how resources can be employed for accomplishing outcomes. The intangible value of planting those seeds cannot be overstated. Further, when you mention the nonprofit’s work and goals to a new contact, you never know when the response will be, Tell me more.”

Remember that connections of all longevities have multiple potential contacts as well—through their careers, their recreational activities, their political, religious, or social connections, as well as webs of family, neighbors, and friends. You are not simply seeking a transactional, point-in-time “sale” but developing a relationship that can yield increasing donations over time as well as encouraging them to champion your cause among their networks. The ever-widening circles then have a multiplier effect.

Beautiful partnerships develop when the interests, passions, and natural proclivities of potential donors are connected to a nonprofit program with a clear vision and well-researched objectives, that simply needs to leverage expertise and financial resources for mission accomplishment.