Defining Constituency Development
First, review the various definitions in Chapter 1, explaining words like constituent and stakeholder, predisposed and prospect, donor and customer. That refresher will help guide you through this chapter.
Now, what is constituency development? The process of developing relationships with your constituents. Call it your relationship-building program. Call it the moves management process.1 Or how about customer relationship management (CRM)?2 All this means relationship building.
Constituency development means relationship building.
I used “constituency development” in the first two editions of this book. I used “relationship building” in Keep Your Donors. I’ll use both those phrases in this third edition. (But I won’t use “moves management” or “CRM.” They focus too much on the organization and sound too … I’m not sure what but I don’t much like the feeling they give me.)
No matter what you call the process, keep in mind the following: This is a strategic process firmly rooted in customer centrism and donor centrism. Every organization in each sector needs such a program. Your constituency development program nurtures relationships. And relationships are critical to healthy and effective organizations.
Your constituency development program identifies and enables constituents to move through the various stages of relationships with your organization. Think of this as a continuum of relationships. Your process brings people (or businesses or …) ...