1Minute

Getting the Visit
(Posted: Monday, November 13, 2017)

It is the hardest part of fundraising. We teach all campaign volunteers in our ‘Fundraising Basics’ workshop that securing the initial visit takes you a great way toward the goal of a donation. (I quote that you are 85% of the way to YES! Of course, I’ve also heard that 73% of all statistics are made up on the spot.)

What are some tips to connecting?
  • Review Your Script and Attitude. Yes, I said script! I know one MGO (Major Gifts Officer) who still uses his outline after 30+ successful years in the business. One acquaintance always includes this statement and sticks to it, “Don’t worry. We will not talk about money during this visit.” Plus, the greatest key to unlocking the appointment door may be a bright, positive attitude conveyed with a smile. People don’t need a video feed to tell if this is the dreaded part of your day – or the best.
  • Review Your Notes. One of the worst ways to begin the conversation is to fumble with your facts. You should know all the basics about the donor or prospect long before you call. If you don’t have them, push to get them, i.e., spouse’s name, employment, past donation amounts and dates, former board service, etc. Your initial call may not reference any of them.... but, then again, something might come up!
  • Act Like You’re From ‘Out of Town.’ I’ve found that setting an appointment in my hometown is far more difficult than when I’m traveling to a destination. So, why won’t that language work here? Even if you live in the same community it isn’t an untruth to say, “I’ll be in your area on the 15th or 16th of this month. Which of those two work best for you?”.
  • Mention Your Deadlines. Everyone understands deadlines. Sharing yours moves the conversation along and, generally, people are willing to help. “Our committee has been challenged to complete our calls with our set of community leaders by ______. If you and I could sit down before then, it will help me out.” 
  • Thank You. ... for taking my call. .... for the time today. ... for your past support.        ... for agreeing to talk about our mission. (You get the picture.)
 
Blake Conover, President

P.S. Great advice abounds on this subject. I just re-read Clair Axelrad’s article on the same topic. She offers great advice plus a paid monthly service, if you are interested.

 

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