The Power of Relationships

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I remember the relationships I built in my first 3 years of high school with various groups and cliques. Little did I know it, but they all become very valuable when I decided to run for Student Council President. As an outsider to student government, it was only through the personal relationships I had nurtured throughout my freshman, sophomore and junior years, that I was able to have those people become advocates for me, in their various communities, to help elect me as president.

Looking back, I realize this is simply how I did everything in my life. I form relationships with various people who come from diverse backgrounds, and have different beliefs and skillsets. As a result, they all have their own group of friends and connections that are different from mine. Before knowing I was getting into community management, I was already doing it. How have relationships played a role in igniting a movement?

We are living in the human-to-human era, where personal relationships around a shared purpose ignite movements. A movement of people connecting around a shared purpose can help launch a new product, create a new way of thinking or help end childhood hunger. In this human-to-human era, there is no distinction between for profit, non-profit, B2B or B2C. It’s people doing business with people through trusted relationships.

For the last two years, I’ve been fundraising to provide meals for No Kid Hungry on Giving Tuesday by inviting individuals, who showed an interest in helping No Kid Hungry, to join a personal fundraising team. Giving Tuesday is so important for several reasons. First it is a day of giving back that allows more people to become aware of the work of No Kid Hungry. Another is the fact that a No Kid Hungry sponsor matches funds raised for Giving Tuesday, making the impact of every dollar doubled. The team fundraisers help us make a greater impact in the lives of so many kids in both of these ways.

Reaching Beyond

Each person who agreed to take part in the fundraising showed up with their own network or community. Those communities may have overlapped with No Kid Hungry’s community, but they reached new people we never would have be able to reach without them spreading the word. It’s as simple as empowering those in your community, to promote you in their other communities. The only way to make this successful is if you form a relationship with these key individuals. It takes trust, which takes time to develop.

Tapping New Strengths

While the overall fundraising for Giving Tuesday comes from an integrated approach, most of the other channels rely on existing connections that No Kid Hungry has: major donors, email subscribers, and social media followers. The people on the fundraising team all use their own email lists, blogs and social media channels to raise money from people who are not in the existing No Kid Hungry community.

In the two years, No Kid Hungry’s GivingTuesday fundraising increased from $56,000 to over $249,000 in 2015. With every dollar helping connect a child to 10 meals, that is almost 2.5 million meals in a single day! By building relationships, we’ve seen a movement ignited.

Join us on Monday, January 25 for Community Manager Appreciation Day when we discuss Building Relationships To Ignite Movements with a panel of people from various industries and diverse backgrounds.

Tim McDonald

None of us are alone. That is Tim’s mission in life. To let everyone know they are not alone. It’s why helping others doing social good is his purpose.

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