Editor’s Note: The following article, authored by Solid Ground Senior Consultant Rich Bruer, was published in the Summer 2015 issue of Saving Land, a Land Trust Alliance journal. The content is relevant to a much wider audience of nonprofits, so we’re posting it here for our readers. Enjoy!

This spring Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast debuted a beautiful brochure. For President Christine Johnson it was a proud moment. The brochure symbolized hours of hard work by her organization in strategic planning, and she couldn’t wait to share it with the people who ultimately made it possible: her donors.

Was this brochure a printed five-year strategic plan, a communications platform or a fundraising tool? For Christine, it was all those things and something else — a relationship builder she will use with donors many times in the months to come.

“When you can put your chair alongside theirs at the table and review your plan with them, it’s like reading a book with them instead of reading it to them,” Christine says. “You sit shoulder to shoulder on the same side going over the piece. Your donor gets to share his or her feelings, thoughts and insights — and that is where deep philanthropy happens.” Read the full article>>