If you are a development officer for a non-profit organization, hopefully you are out calling on donors to your organization.  During these visits, what types of questions do you ask?  I hope you’re doing more than making small-talk.  Ask questions that reveal the heart.

Heart of the matter

Here are some of my favorite questions:

    • Of all the gifts youve ever given, which one has given you the most joy?
    • If you were to consider a gift above and beyond anything you have ever given to our institution, what would you want to accomplish.
    • What would it take for you to view our organization in the same light that you view (INSERT COMPETING ORGANIZATION THAT THE DONOR IS SUPPORTING AT INCREASED LEVEL).
    • How does our institutions mission dovetail with your own personal mission?
    • Do you have any guiding principles that govern the way you make your philanthropic decisions?
    • If you were directing a charitable foundation that was about to distribute a million dollars, what would you want to accomplish?
    • When you were growing up, did your parents talk with you about organizations they supported? Do you talk with your kids about the importance of giving?
    • Of all the organizations you could support, why do you support us?
    • Why is our organization so important to you?