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Fostering Meaningful Donor Relationships: San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum’s Winning Strategy

Discover the Winning Approach to Fostering Meaningful Donor Relationships at San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum.

Funders and donors play a vital role in sustaining museums, acting as their lifeblood. However, what if we viewed donations and funding as more than just transactions? At San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, they embrace a unique two-way relationship with strategic partnerships, seeking to maximize value for their donors and cultivate lasting connections.

Building a Lasting Relationship: Overcoming the Challenge of Corporate Sponsorship for Museums

One of the major challenges in corporate sponsorship for museums is building relationships that can withstand staff changes on both sides. The personal relationship between the representatives of the museum and the funder can affect the relationship between the institutions.

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum overcomes this by regularly inviting the donors to the museum to see what they are doing. In particular, they do this when there are any staff changes so they can start building a personal relationship. The funders get a tour of the museum and can see where their money goes.

Regular touch points are important to a donor relationship. The San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum make sure that they are not just getting in contact with their funders when they need to raise money. They invite their funders and their employees to museum events and spend time engaging with the company. For example, they will send their donors gifts for holidays like Valentine’s Day or Easter and offer staff discounts to the museum.

Regular Touch Points: Nurturing a Strong Donor Relationships

At San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, maintaining regular touch points with donors is pivotal to fostering a strong and enduring relationship. Unlike merely reaching out when funding is needed, the museum actively engages with its funders and their employees by inviting them to various museum events.

From sending thoughtful gifts on special occasions like Valentine’s Day and Easter to offering staff discounts for museum visits, they consistently show appreciation for their donors. This dedicated effort creates a sense of inclusion and investment in the museum’s mission.

Finding Value-Aligned Donors: The Key to Enthusiastic Support

When the values of donors align with the museum’s mission, something magical happens. Donors become ardent supporters of the museum’s exhibitions and plans, enthusiastically backing its goals. This alignment paves the way for greater engagement and secures funding for innovative initiatives.

Collaborating with funders to achieve shared goals transforms the relationship from transactional to familial. A profound bond is formed, making donors proud to see their names listed among the museum’s supporters.

Finding Value-Aligned Donors: The Key to Enthusiastic Support

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum actively seeks opportunities to create win-win scenarios for its funders. By providing exclusive discounts for their employees, the museum extends the perks of philanthropy beyond financial contributions.

Additionally, the museum encourages donors to organize events in the museum space, often resulting in fun-filled family days out. This immersive experience allows funders to witness the impact of their contributions firsthand, further deepening their commitment and paving the way for long-term partnerships.

Conclusion: San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum’s exceptional approach to fostering meaningful donor relationships has revolutionized the way museums interact with their supporters. By focusing on mutual value, shared goals, and a personal touch, the museum has crafted enduring connections that enrich both donors’ experiences and the institution itself. Embracing this winning approach can pave the way for other museums to build strong and lasting donor relationships that stand the test of time.

Krishna Kabra, CEO at San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum and Alissa Hauser, Project Manager of Strategic Capital at Dr. Bronner’s spoke about their partnership at MuseumNext in June 2021.

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