Building Engagement vs. Relationship

Is there a difference between building engagement and building relationships? One leads to the other and there is a distinct difference, particularly in philanthropy. While simple engagement may be enough for your organization, it won’t necessarily lead to lasting relationships that help fund long term campaigns. Developing donors is often a relationship building activity, but how does that work with new technology tools?

Earlier today I had a great conversation with Amy Quinn from Tech4Good Denver. Amy was curious to know my opinion of technology and social media as it relates to donor relations. Later in the evening I got a marketing message from Domo and because I’m always interested in analytics, I decided to check it out. This particular Infographic about data transferred every minute of every day stood out from the rest and my conversation with Amy was validated by the alarmingly high numbers.

Should you engage with your donors via technology tools and social media? The short answer is a resounding YES. This is where the engagement is happening and the numbers that Domo has collected and beautifully depicted in the Infographic show that if you aren’t in this space, you’re missing out on an opportunity to reach a larger audience.

Can you build relationships through technology and social media? This is a tricky question. My answer to this is that it depends on the generation of your audience and in the end “probably not.” I am a strong supporter of face to face interactions and real voice conversations as the best ways to build strong relationships. The numbers in this Infographic tell me that even though the audience is there and engagement is through the roof, there is also a lot of noise. It is a lot harder to build relationships in that type of environment unless you can single out users and make a personal connection. If you Tweet hello to your recent donors, but every single Tweet is the same with a different donor names, then you’re not really connecting. Be smart about how you use technology and don’t automate to the point of becoming a spammer and adding to the noise.

Enjoy this Infographic from


Leave a Comment