Make Time for Relationship Maintenance by Cristina Sinclaire

By at January 30, 2013 | 2:46 pm | Print

Make Time for Relationship Maintenance by Cristina Sinclaire

Cristina Sinclaire

Most campaigns and non-profits can’t succeed without volunteers or by collaborating with other organizations. Of course it’s important to treat volunteers and partners kindly when they help, but is that really enough? No.

If you only contact a volunteer, co-worker, or ally when you are asking for help, the relationship won’t stay healthy. Thankfully, if you want to build strong, healthy relationships and real commitment, it’s pretty easy with a little effort. The key? Don’t make every conversation an ask. Here are some ideas to cultivate your network:

  • Send a holiday card or call on their birthday (even just a Facebook “Happy Birthday” note can go a long way).
  • Share an article they might be interested in.
  • Check in for no reason. Call, email, text, or write on their Facebook wall just to say hello.
  • Give a shout out (like a Follow Friday or RT) on Twitter.
  • Send thank you cards when people do something big for you.
  • Ask about their weekend or something non-work/campaign related. Maybe it’s movies or music or that huge Star Wars display on their desk. (NB: ask me about restaurants or the Oscars and I’ll basically do your work for you.)
  • Offer a helping hand if you can.
  • Introduce them to someone with similar interests.
  • Bring them their favorite latte when you’re going out for coffee.

Take an interest in your volunteers, colleagues, and allies, and watch the benefits pile up.  You’ll make connections you never knew about and build your stockpile of good will. You never know when you’ll need to ask for another favor.

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Cristina Sinclaire, Program Assistant for the Voting Information Project at New Organizing Institute (NOI).  NOI trains organizers to build and manage effective movements by integrating tried-and-true community organizing, cutting-edge digital strategy, and data-driven decision making. NOI provide free access to revolutionary tools, technologies, and research to help campaigns reach the next level.

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Management & Strategy

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