There’s no magic formula to a major gift solicitation. I’ve solicited hundreds and hundreds of gifts. Millions and millions of dollars. I’ve gone in as a staff member, a professional consultant, and as an unpaid volunteer or board member. There’s no secret sauce. I’ve watched all the rules be broken… and then watched the donor say “YES.”
It’s an art. It’s not a science.
But when you’re preparing for that big solicitation meeting keep these things in mind:
- Discuss the joy the gift will bring to the donor, the recognition, and the sense that he is making a real difference.
- Don’t allow the size of the gift to dominate the presentation.
- Communicate relevancy, drama, and emotional appeal. And there absolutely must be a sense of urgency!
- Shy away from big, abstract numbers. Think Anne Frank.
- Have fun. Be yourself. Your donors will appreciate your authenticity.