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!

man listening

Why listen? Most of the people you call on wont really hear you out, they wont 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 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?

I guarantee you that asking these questions and truly listening to the answers will help you better understand how to craft a proposal for your donor.  And a proposal that is crafted based upon your donors’ heart is far more likely to get a YES!

I’ve been calling on donors and soliciting contributions for more than a decade.  If your organization is looking for fundraising training please contact me.  I’d be honored to help.