Looking for a simple way to share your mission with your community?  Isn’t it about time everyone knew how great you were and what services you offered?

Hosting a regular, monthly tour at your organization can do just that.  A tour is a simple point of entry event designed to engage your local community to your mission.  Your guests will leave with a clear understanding of who you are, what you do, what your needs are, and how your mission is relevant to the community.  In turn, you will recruit new donors and cultivate or renew those already involved.  For your current donors, tours ignite their passion for your mission.  They learn new facets of your organization and connectivity grows as does their inclination and propensity to give and give greater.

I’m involved with a local organization and have been for several years.  I love them and love what they do.  But I sometimes forget why I love them.  I recently attended one of their monthly tours and was once again blown away by what they accomplish each day.  It wasn’t as if I had forgotten what they do exactly, but man, was I pumped up about being involved with them again.

You may already be doing some version of a tour at your organization and I’m glad to hear it.  However, how often are you utilizing your program staff to do the talking for you?  How engaged are your program staff to sharing the mission?  Believe it or not, your program staff talks about programs better than your fund development staff.  I know, I know…  it may be hard to hear.  And the point of the tour is not for you to fundraise, it’s a mission enticer.  Igniter.  Introducer.  So your program staff need not feel intimated about having to ask for funds.  Sure, I want them to share what needs they have for the growth of their program, but again, they love to talk about that!

And don’t tell me you don’t have ‘space’ or the right area to host a tour.  I’ve heard it before; I know how to work around it.  You work at a small office and the program piece of your organization is held off site.  Great – bring the show on the road!  Wrap up that tour and present it each month at the program location.  Dealing with confidentiality issues of your clients can be dicey but you can ‘close’ business for that hour yet retain the excitement of your mission by having a client present to share their powerful story.

Consider hosting a one-hour tour, once a month, engaging 10 – 12 guests at a time.  Keep your tour entirely mission-focused, make sure your messaging is clear, and make sure you are cultivating those guests and new prospects the day after they walk out your door!  This means – FOLLOW UP and TRACK what you learn during that follow up call.  What good is the tour if you forego the follow-up?  How will you know what moved your guests about your organization?  Your follow-up will not only ensure immediate connection, but it creates that first step toward cultivating what may be a potential donor, moving them quickly down your cultivation path.