I do a lot of training with non-profit organizations to help them achieve their fundraising goals. I have also served on a lot of non-profit boards and make myself available to the leaders of non-profit organizations.
Those who’ve spent very much time with me at all will all tell you the same thing:
I talk a lot about listening!
Why listen? Most of the people you call on won’t really hear you out, they won’t really take a close look at your organization until they are convinced that you have listened to them and that you care about their thoughts and ideas.
When I’m meeting with a supporter of an organization I don’t make a lot of statements.
I ask a lot of questions.
Here are some that I often find myself asking:
- Of all the gifts you’ve 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 institution’s 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?