“I’ve never told anyone this before.”

If you’re working in major gifts and you’ve never heard this, you might need to alter your approach.

Many of you reading this will be able to recall several times a donor has told you something like “I’ve never told anyone this before” or “I don’t know why I’m sharing this with you.”

This happens frequently to successful major gift fundraisers because if we’re doing our jobs well, we’re creating spaces where people can share.

It’s rare that people get asked thoughtful questions about their life, childhood, values, and dreams.

When we ask good questions as major gift fundraisers, we’re of course learning pertinent information about the donor, but more importantly, we’re showing them that we’re truly interested in them.

If you want to be great at major gifts, become really curious about the people you’re meeting with.

Hearing people’s stories has always been my favorite part of fundraising.

Do you find this to be true, or do you prefer to WOW them with how awesome your case for support is?


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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