Don’t Give Up!

“I’ve already made all of my giving decisions for this year, so there’s no reason for us to meet.”

Here is another common objection that a prospective benefactor will share when you try to reach out to schedule a visit.

The first thing I’ll say is this: as a general rule, as major gift fundraisers we are way too passive.

99 times out of 100 a donor says a line like this and the fundraiser simply gets back in their shell like a scared little turtle and moves on.


My first rule of dealing with objections is to SAY SOMETHING!

Even if you sound like a moron and make a huge error, just the fact that you didn’t run away at the first obstacle changes the donor’s perception of you.

Most people give up right away… DON’T!

Now what do I actually recommend you say when presented with the objection that they’ve made all of their giving decisions for the year?

Something like this:

“Bob, several of our largest donors said the same thing the first time I called them.

Most successful philanthropists make their giving decisions far into the future, so I figured you would already be locked in for this year.

I’m not calling to ask you for a gift today, I just want to begin a relationship for the long haul.

How does next Tuesday at 2:00pm look for you?”

If you think this is “too aggressive” you’ve probably been trapped into this extreme passivity I described earlier.

Some of the closest relationships I’ve ever developed and largest gifts I’ve ever closed happened after 2 or 3 different reasons the prospect told me they did not want to meet.

Each time I didn’t give up.

You shouldn’t either.

Go make some calls so you can try it out today!


Kevin Fitzpatrick is the owner of One Visit Away, a consulting business helping leaders of nonprofits schedule more and better visits with their benefactors.  Kevin’s goal is to help fundraising professionals constantly seek to deepen their relationships with their benefactors.  After all, you’re just One Visit Away from growing your mission and your impact.  


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