1. “I’d like to meet you to update you / tell you what we do / tell you what we’ve been doing, etc.”
I’ve had fundraisers approach me this way. It’s all about them and their organization. I guess they figure they’ll ‘wow’ donor prospects into giving because they and their organization are so awesome. Yuck!
Most major donor prospects are not looking for an update. They’re looking for a fit. They’re wondering, “What’s in it for me? Does this align with my values, my life story, and my interests?”
They don’t want to listen to you. They want you to listen to them.
They’re probably starved for attention and hopeful that you’ll take interest in them and why they care.
Deep down, they really just want someone to help them find meaning in their lives through giving and that doesn’t begin with an update. It begins with listening. Will you be that someone? Will you listen?
Instead, why not say?:
“Your support has been so very much appreciated so we were curious about why you care and we’d love to hear more about you, your story, and your interests.”
2. “Did you get the information / letter / report / proposal I sent?”
Fundraisers tell me over and over that they get requests for information. So they fulfill those request promptly. But when they reach out to follow-up, they get rebuffed. Quite often the donor prospects say they never received the information or seem to have forgotten requesting it altogether.
Here’s why this happens (and it’s not because they’re busy):
Instead, try saying:
“I’m following up to briefly review what we discussed during our last call/visit and to hear your thoughts about what I sent you in the mail. Do you remember telling me that…?” Then go right into recounting the major points you learned about them in the last discussion. Be sure to recount what you heard about why they care, their interests and how they’d like to find meaning in their lives through giving.
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