Tag Archives: Soliciting Gifts

Follow-Up: Fundraising’s Essential Action

By David A. Mersky

Recently, a colleague of mine was working with a nonprofit group to convene a gateway event. Gateways are used to introduce prospective, new major donors to the organization. The chosen venue was wonderful and RSVPs in the affirmative exceeded expectations.

Attendance was another matter— there was a 50% drop off from those who said they would attend to those who actually did. Further, there was no plan in place for reaching out to invitees in the days following.

Establishing a clear plan for follow-up* — to leverage the experience of those who attended and to continue engaging the group in the organization’s mission and goals — is vital for success.

The “Big Event” is Just the Beginning

When organizing a gala or gateway event, it’s understandable that the early focus is on the event itself. But from a long term, fundraising perspective, the occasion is just step one. It is the opening gambit in a process of engagement, relationship-building, and stewardship, all of which will ultimately yield the greatest philanthropic investment.

Consistent and effective follow-up is what makes all of this happen. That’s because when you make the effort to reach out to another person, you are saying, “You are important to me and our relationship matters.”

With that in mind, I offer three suggestions…

#1. Move Quickly

A follow-up call to attendees and non-attendees should occur within 48 hours. You want to make contact while the event is still fresh in their minds and before they have moved on to other things on their plate.

And yes, I am unapologetically old school in my belief that a phone call — not an email and certainly not a text — is the best medium for this task. The objective is an open-ended conversation in which you can hear the tone and emotion in the voice of the other person.

#2. Think Strategically

Who within your organization is best equipped to manage the relationship going forward? This is the person who should make the call. This may be a peer, board member, committee member, or member of the senior staff (hint: it’s not a summer intern!).

Remember that your list of invitees consists of key accounts — people who you hope will provide a meaningful gift at some point. It may or may not happen right away, so think strategically about who can best shepherd that personal connection over time.

#3. Act Deliberately

Every person on your invitee list was put there for a reason; each represents a future opportunity. So follow up with everyone, regardless of whether or not they attended. 

For those who did not attend, let them know that you were sorry to have missed them and that you hope they can join you at another event in the future.

For everyone else, ask:

What was your experience? 

Did you learn anything that was worthwhile? Was there anything that felt off target? What could we do to improve your experience in the future? Again, the key is to initiate a meaningful conversation.

Is there any way that you could see yourself becoming more involved with us?

You are looking to see if they have the time and if you have stimulated them to volunteer.

A common response to this question is for the other person to ask, “What would becoming more involved look like?” So make sure you have two or three specific things in mind that might advance the objectives of your organization. Would you be willing to host an event in your home or at your office? Would you be willing to serve on one of our committees? Would you come and speak to a group of our students (if the organization were a school)?

We know that those who become more involved end up making a greater financial contribution. This can be the point at which that involvement begins.

Can you recommend anyone else that we should invite to future events like this?

We must always be working to expand the size of our respective lists. People tend to know and socialize with others like themselves, so by making this inquiry, you are likely to be referred to other promising individuals.

Make Follow-Up an Organizational Imperative

When you follow up with a potential donor, you are validating the other person while improving the long-term giving potential for your organization. 

Done well, it is a win-win for everyone involved and an important habit to develop for yourself and your colleagues.

*You may be wondering why “follow-up” sometimes takes a hyphen and sometimes not. Well, as my children and grandchildren will tell you, I am a stickler for proper grammar in writing and speech. “Follow-up” is an unusual phrase in that it should be hyphenated when used as a noun or adjective, but not when used as a verb.

The Donor As The Hero

Donor as hero - Photo by Pixabay @Pexels

In my 22+ years in development, I have seen a lot of “new ideas” in solicitations:

  • Send the same letter to everyone, some people will give
  • Buy mailing lists!
  • Send the same letter to everyone along with an incentive piece like a notebook, return address sticker, or even a coin!
  • Every letter should be personalized
  • Letters should be personalized and have a specific ask
  • Offer a gift with certain donation levels
  • Not only personalize letters, but include a specific ask and list the previous year’s gift
  • Every letter should be personalized, have an ask, list the previous year’s gift, and tell a story.
  • Did you forget to include a cute animal or child? Every letter has to be personalized, have an ask, list the previous year’s gift, tell a story, and include cute pictures
  • Only send emails to people who contact you by emails
  • Forget letters, send everyone emails!
  • Don’t send too many emails
  • Send a combination of letters and emails
  • What do you mean you haven’t been using Instagram for solicitations?
  • Send letters, no one sends them anymore so you will stand out
  • Send postcards, no one even has to open an envelope to give!
  • Use twice as many “you” references than “we”, “me”, “our”, etc. in your letter

I could go on but, you get the idea. Maybe you’ve lived through many of these ideas. And they weren’t wrong for their time and the world lived in. So, what’s the latest?

The Donor As The Hero

How has the donor helped your beneficiaries?

“Your gift helped provide 3,248 meals for our community in the past year”

“Your $5,000 gift helped create 198 after school job opportunities for disadvantaged teenagers

“Your gift of $1,000, along with your fellow donors in the Foundation Society, created a mental health space for every one of the 12,838 people who walked through our doors last year. We hope you will help us continue to develop our safe space with a gift of $1,500 this year.”

Using the donor as the hero can highlight your best statistics while making the donor feel great. A win-win.

Now, just sit back and wait for donations. And the next big fundraising idea.

Or, if you would like help with your annual appeal and annual campaign, click here to set up a 30-minute free consultation

Making stewardship, gratitude, or solicitation calls this fall? Read this first.

If you are like many nonprofits, you are thinking about making phone calls this fall. I know I have been asked to make calls this month as a volunteer. It is a great way to connect with your members, donors, and volunteers. 

Your nonprofit may decide to call:

making nonprofit calls
  • Your entire membership to thank them for being involved (stewardship calls)
  • Previous donor calls (donation encouragement calls)
  • Previous donor calls (solicitation calls)
  • Recent donations (gratitude calls)
  • Volunteers (gratitude calls)

But, as one client reminded me, asking board members to make the calls is easy. Ensuring that someone is systematically following up on the information, questions, and comments gathered from the calls is the hard part.

In other words, how you handle the information you gain during the next few months will impact donations and retention for years to come.

The easiest way to anger a donor is ask a question, get an answer, do nothing with it, and never provide feedback to the donor.

Consider these 3 different scenarios that require 3 different responses:

  • One person asks what happened to their book donation from last year (not about how their DAF distribution for $5,000 was spent – only the book valued around $54)
  • Another asks why their favorite program isn’t running now that people are back in the buildings
  • A third person asks whether they can start volunteering in the next couple of months but not for the gala

Obviously, we can’t know what the answers are or who should answer them.

Phone Calls will be made to ___(group)___ by ___(group/individual names) ___ during ___(start date)___ to __(end date)___

  1. Assignments
    • Who is assigning the calls (and providing the call information and sample script)?
    • Who is tracking that the calls are made?
    • When should reminders be sent?
  2. Tracking the questions
    • Who will track that a comment was made or a question was asked?
    • Is there a contact report that should be filled out?
    • How will you track that a contact report was filled out? i.e. is there a central document like a Google Doc, is it entered into the CRM, or is every report sent to one person to track?
    • Will development staff be told each time a response is necessary with any comments that might be helpful? How will they be notified? Or do they need to check the tracking document? How often?
    • Who will let the appropriate person at the organization know there is a question or comment that needs to be addressed?
  3. Who can be assigned to respond? Who decides who should respond? Responders could include:
    • Fundraising Staff
    • Executive Director
    • Programming Coordinator
    • Volunteer Coordinator
    • Admin
  4. Who will check that the person was contacted a second time? Follow up. Follow up. Follow up. It is stewardship. It is logical. It is also the only way you will retain a donor. Someone needs to know that they oversee this.
  5. Who will collect and track contact reports? Each interaction with a donor provides valuable information. Don’t assume the volunteer – or even staff member – will be there to remind you of the facts in a week, a year or 3 years. Turnover is high. And memories are short.
  6. Analyzing the results
    • Did the people called have a higher donation level or retention rate after receiving a call?
    • How much time did volunteers actually spend on the calling process?
    • Did everyone make their calls?

Create a formal process from start to finish. Keep it simple. But make it an essential part of calling. 5 minutes to make the call. 5 minutes to write the call report. Or one minute and one minute if you just leave a message.

This seems to be a lot of work for a few phone calls, doesn’t it? The good news is once you create your system you may only need to revise it from time to time. So start assigning those calls.

We can’t guarantee the calls will make a difference. But, we are so confident in this follow-up process that we encourage you to use it anyway. Try it. You will raise more money and retain more donors. You’ll see.

Want to read more about End-of-year strategies? Here are a few from our archive:

Five End-of-year Segmentation Strategies

Which is Easier? Getting a Teenager into College or Getting New Donors in December?

Want to Learn a New Fundraising Trick?

5 Surprising Ways Endowment and Capital Campaigns Are Different in 2022

Surprised? Capital campaigns are different in 2022
  1. Sticker Shock is not just for gas pumps. In the past week I have seen 3 client’s jaws drop when they saw the estimated costs of their building renovation plans. Supply chain issues, lack of workers, and rising demand are causing pricing – and estimates – to rise. There is no crystal ball to know what will happen in in 2023 and beyond but we should all be prepared for when the shovel hits the ground with even higher costs.  
  1. Endowments have value to donors. Pre-pandemic the idea of raising money for an endowment was tough without a capital element. Everyone liked an organization to have a large endowment – but few wanted to support it. There were some exceptions for those who were giving enough to name their own fund or “chair.” But many of those gifts came with restrictions.  Cut to 2022, when capital campaigns are different, and donors understand that there are economic uncertainties that are out of everyone’s control and an endowment provides stability. And annual resources. As well as security. And ensures the organization can weather the next downturn.
  1. Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) can be used for pledges. Well, sort of. While someone with a DAF cannot make a direct pledge, they can offer a non-binding letter of intent. The nonprofit cannot use it as collateral for financing as a regular pledge can be deployed. But the letter of intent will still enable a donor to indicate a larger gift, payable over multiple years. Such a letter acknowledges the donor’s intent to recommend a grant from their DAF for multiple years. Read more about DAF letters of intent from Fidelity here.
  1. Competition for major donations can be a concern after 2 years of holding off on asking. Most nonprofits who started to consider a feasibility study and/or capital/endowment campaign in 2019, 2020, or 2021 are all looking to 2022 to raise money. This can be good for organizations who engaged donors during the pandemic -they remember you and still value you! And a lot harder if you held off contacting your donors. Either way, there will be a lot of nonprofits asking for capital and endowment gifts this year. In other words, if you are thinking about it, don’t hold off too long. Or you may find your donors have committed to other campaigns.
  1. Markets are unsettled which means you may have to be creative about how donors want to give. You can write a five-year gift of $100,000 as $10,000 this year, $20,000 for 3 years and $30,000 in the 5th year. Or vice versa. Maybe they don’t want to start until 2023. Or they want to give it all now. Or whatever the donor wants. We believe in “campaigns of one.” You strategically plan for the engagement, solicitation, and stewardship for each donor within a campaign. Just be aware that if they rely on financial markets for income they might not feel as secure as they did a year ago. I guess some things about capital campaigns are different in 2022, and some are not.

Interested in learning more about a feasibility study to know if your community would support an endowment or capital campaign? Set up a time to have a free 30-minute consultation with Abigail or David

Should You Accept ANY and EVERY Donation? Why you need a Gift Acceptance Policy

By David A. Mersky

A beloved member of the community died after a long illness. Her husband and her friends wanted to honor her memory with a fund that would sponsor professional development programs. They turned to the organization on whose board the deceased woman had served for many years and suggested that they would make a gift of $100,000 to start a named fund that would underwrite annual staff training programs.

The organization’s executive director was thrilled…until she learned that the gift came with restrictions. First, the grieving husband would manage the funds.  Also, he would have veto power on any programs undertaken in his late wife’s name. Further the friends said that they would like to run two annual fundraisers exclusively for the fund among the supporters of the organization.

Our client, the executive director politely said, “Thank you, but no thank you.” She told the donors that the plan was not in compliance with the organization’s Gift Acceptance Policy. She explained that the board had tasked the foundation committee who employed professional managers to invest the assets of the organization and no individual donor would be permitted to manage any part of gifted assets. Further, the program committee and staff decide what programs to provide.

The Gift Acceptance Policy made all this very clear.

And, if your organization does not have such a statement then you should begin to create one now.

Why do you need a Gift Acceptance Policy?

  • …so you will know how to respond no matter what unexpected gift is offered.
  • …a reason to pause before you say “yes” or “no, thank you.”
  • …time and space to evaluate any donation.
  • …if the gift acceptance policy says no to a type of donation, e.g., non-publicly traded securities, it saves time and cost of considering each gift on a case-by-case basis.
  • …so you can respond more quickly and more confidently.
  • …to tell donors that gift valuations for gifts of tangible property—and the cost for appraisals—are their responsibility

What should a Gift Acceptance Policy Contain

  • Introduction—the organization solicits and accepts gifts to fulfill mission
  • What are acceptable gifts and conditions?
    • Cash
    • Checks
    • Credit cards
    • Pledges
    • Publicly traded securities
  • Which gifts require Board approval upon due diligence
    • Closely held securities
    • Real estate
    • Life insurance
    • Tangible personal property
  • What kinds of planned gifts are acceptable?
    • Bequests
    • Charitable gift annuities
    • Deferred gift annuities
    • Charitable remainder trusts
    • Charitable lead trusts
    • Retained life estates
  • What are the minimums for named endowment funds?

Above all, as you draft your gift acceptance policy be sure to check with your lawyers and accountants. But, when you write the policy statement, be sure to maintain a friendly tone, avoid legalese, and negative language.

Hopefully, you will never have to decline a gift. With a gift acceptance policy, you will be prepared for any eventuality.

You might wonder if you could regret turning down a contribution. More importantly, with a gift acceptance policy, you will never regret accepting one, either.

If you would like a free, 30-minute consultation to speak about your Gift Acceptance Policy, or anything else, Click here to schedule a time with me.

Five End-of-year Segmentation Strategies

End-of-year Segmentation Possibilities

This week, I have been considering the importance of end-of-year segmentation for the next 2+ months of Daily Table solicitations. I don’t mean personalization which should always be used to highlight previous giving and specific asks. I mean separating out different segments of a nonprofit’s donors and prospects to send tailored letters.

How many ways should an organization segment their end-of-year campaign? Is segmentation just for letters? Emails? Social Media? What is the time trade-off in this all important and extremely busy season? Which way should I go?

I thought I would share the potential end-of-year segmentation strategies I am considering. Possibilities include:

  1. At the minimum, use the CRM to separate current, recurring, lapsed and recent donors. This is a no brainer and will only require minimal changes to the letter. It is a bit more work than sending the same letter to everyone, but well worth the effort.
  2. Should my emails have the same or alternate end-of-year segmentation strategies as my snail mail? Segmenting is easy in email if your CRM is set up well. And probably even if it’s not set up that well. You can take out previous donors prior to each email. You can add special incentives or matches on the fly. You can encourage one group over another – i.e., if you realize that your LYBUNTs are not responding at the same rate as in previous years, you can alter the message for the rest of the campaign. NOTE: This means you must build evaluation and campaign restructuring into your timeline. Marketing and approvals can take hours or days. And do you want a few days delay in December?
  3. Can you segment social media? Yes. Cross posts between Facebook and Instagram or LinkedIn and Twitter are easy enough with a few clicks. But should you just do it automatically? While you can’t send different messages to different Friends on Facebook without groups, you can consider the specific audience on each social media platform as a different segment. If your audience is younger on Instagram – what would they like to hear vs the parents and grandparents on Facebook? What do you want to say to the business-focused crowd on LinkedIn? Would additional stats help? In other words if you are going to use social media – use it well.
  4.  Pull donors who have recently given during November and send them an additional thank you instead of an additional solicitation. This may seem counterintuitive when we are all focused on asking donors and prospects multiple times in our end-of-year campaigns. But development is a long game. We need funds for this year, but we never want to compromise donations for next year (see #5, below). Ask yourself whether a solicitation within weeks of a donation is more likely to get you another gift or an annoyed donor. Note: If you do decide to use this strategy for segmentation, let them know that they are receiving the thank you instead of the solicitation. And in the P.S. offer a way they can donate if they want to give again.  
  5. Add a cumulative giving to my end-of-year segmentation. If a donor has given for 5, 10 or 20 years – at any level – an organization can list their lifetime giving in communications. Lifetime giving is a key measurement of donor value. Someone who gives $50 for 5 years can be worth more than a $250 donor. Of course, Daily Table hasn’t been around 10 years. But that doesn’t mean cumulative giving shouldn’t be considered for the loyal supporters who helped get us off the ground and continue to give.

Want to look at it by type of donor or prospect? Check out our previous article on 17 Ways to Segment Lists For A Year-End Appeal

If you have additional strategies that you have used successfully (or you are considering this year) let me know. I am always open to learning from the MJA community.  

Would You Rather Solicit A Major Gift Over Zoom or With a Live Chicken

Would You Rather Solicit A Major Gift Over Zoom or With a Live Chicken

What has changed for you during the pandemic? Your employment? Or at least the way you work? Your family life? Or the time you spend with your family? Your eating? Or where you eat most of your meals? The essentials of life, food, family, work, and so much more look very different than they did months ago. For most of us, we didn’t have a choice, we adapted to the curve in the road.

Fundraising and solicitations also need to adapt. And I am here to tell you that it can work.

You can solicit a major gift over Zoom

I would take a sizable bet that if, even six months ago, I had suggested you solicit a major gift over Zoom you would have had a very strong reaction. Probably you would have laughed, then deleted my email, then unsubscribed from my blog. It would have been like suggesting you bring a live chicken to your donor meetings. I guess it could be done, but it would only reduce your chances of success and eliminate donor confidence.    

Back to July 2020 and I am here to say Zoom solicitations can be done successfully.

Our clients who have continued to work on their capital campaigns during the pandemic are finding that process looks different than expected, but the outcome can be the same. Or even better than anticipated.

Organizations who have taken time over the past few months to organize and plan their campaign in the current climate will find that things have normalized to a point where donors are ready to talk. These organizations have checked in and connected with donors, members and volunteers. They probably utilized their volunteers to keep them engaged and deepen the relationships. And, similar to other types of stewardship, these “touches” have kept prospects engaged, primed, and ready to be asked for a donation.

At MJA, the pandemic has changed our business too

We do not visit facilities or attend meetings in person. We do continue to teach volunteers and professionals how to make a game plan for each prospect, how to get the appointment, and, of course, how to solicit. We make sure the solicitor has the appropriate documents, that the staff and volunteers understand each step of the follow up and acknowledgement process, and we have sat in as a box, and participant, on Zoom solicitations. And while we were all a bit nervous to start, it works.

Donors still feel passionately about organizations, particularly those they have previously supported. Some donors have had to change their financial plans due to COVID-19-related issues, but many don’t. There is significant philanthropic capacity looking for meaningful opportunities.  And if you have been stewarding those who have it, they will still be ready to give if you make the compelling case you have always needed to make:

  • Why give?
  • Why to this organization?
  • Why to this organization right now?

So, it may feel strange, like holding a bird, to solicit a major gift over Zoom but it’s time to adapt and try new things. Unless you are one of the many people who decided to adopt chickens during the pandemic. And then, you might be able to hold your chicken while on a zoom call and still be successful. Life certainly has changed.  

If you would like to learn from our experience so you can plan and execute your capital campaign or annual fund major gifts program, please click here to schedule a free consultation.

How Many Donors Does Your Nonprofit Need? Look at Your Solicitor Pool

Solicitor Pool

If you are considering how many solicitors you need, you probably don’t have enough. You are probably relying on the Executive Director, a development staff member or two, and/or a few key board members. And, maybe that has worked for the past few years – Executive Directors can be incredibly effective fundraisers. But you may be only one resignation away from a dramatic decline. It is time to increase your solicitor pool.

In the same way you don’t want to be over-reliant on a few major donors, you don’t want to put all of your solicitations in too few hands.

How do you expand your solicitor pool?

  1. Look at your staff. Who would you trust to represent you in a meeting? Not sure if Jennifer is ready? Bring her along as a second solicitor during a few meetings with longtime donors. Make it clear, ahead of time, the role she will play and where she can strategically add to the conversation. Please don’t have her sitting and observing the whole time – that will not test her skills, it make everyone feel uncomfortable, and leave the donor(s) wondering why Jennifer was there at all.
  2. Ask your board members if they will help. Ask them one-on-one, not in a group setting. Don’t assume they will say no. And encourage people to get involved at any level that will be helpful to you.
    1. Some people might be willing to solicit, if trained.
    2. Others might be willing to help you set up appointments (often time consuming for the solicitor) and join in if someone else will make the ask. Overtime, that might change, but for the moment you will have someone helping you with the initial, time-consuming piece of an ask.
    3. Another few might be willing to ask at a small group event. Encourage your board to get involved with fundraising any way they choose.
  3. Invite committee members to participate. Obviously, the first place to start is the development committee. But, someone who understands the finances might be willing to help with a fact driven ask. And a person who is focused on funding for a particular program might be willing to ask individuals to support it. *
  4. Talk to your donors. Longtime supporters might be willing to ask others to join them with their own gift – especially if they already know them. Those cocktail party conversations might provide more connections and donations than you expected.

*Only encourage funding for a program that is an organizational priority. Creating a program because you received funding is a slippery slope that often leaves you in debt. Get in touch if you want to learn more about how I learned this the hard way.

Want to read more about increasing your donor base?

#GivingTuesday Update – Development is Not Just Fundraising

#GivingTuesday UpdateOn #GivingTuesday I received 20+ solicitations.

On Wednesday, the following day, I received only 2 #GivingTuesday updates.

Only 2 organizations thought I would care about the results?

Here is a list of excuses I have heard from friends, clients, colleagues, and nonprofits around the world as to why they did not send an email letting donors know how much they raised from something like #GivingTuesday or an event:

  • We only reached 70% of our goal (let me know that and why this effort was important- maybe I will still give)
  • I don’t think anyone would notice if we did or didn’t send a #GivingTuesday update (wrong attitude)
  • We are busy writing our end-of-year letter and that has to be the priority (if #GivingTuesday is not important enough to do well, don’t do it)
  • It didn’t occur to us to do that. (that is no longer a good excuse)
  • We don’t really know exactly how much we raised yet (not confidence boosting)
  • _____your excuse here______

While I admit that I do notice details like follow up because of professional curiosity, I also take note because it shows me which organizations understand development is not just fundraising.

Please, please, please keep in mind:

  1. Development is a year-round process that includes asking, acknowledging, thanking, and stewarding donors.
  2. You should not send out a solicitation until you know how you will acknowledge donations, thank donors 7+ times and whether or not you will follow up with non-respondents.
  3. Number 2 includes online and social media solicitations. Basic development rules still apply.
  4. 7+ ways to thank a donor can include an email to everyone with an update
  5. Development is not brain surgery. In fact, most of it is common sense with a bit of creativity to make it applicable to your nonprofit. Sometimes you are not doing it because you just don’t know that it should be done, but if you have read this far, you now know. Follow up with a #GivingTuesday update (it’s not too late!). Follow up for everything. People can hit delete and they can unsubscribe, but the people who care about you won’t. The people who left you were not going to give to you anyway so let them go and focus on your real prospects and donors.

If you want to learn how Mersky, Jaffe & Associates can improve your development plan and stewardship ideas, email me

Maybe I can start a #GivingTuesdayUpdate as a trend for next year.

Want to read more about #GivingTuesday Results? The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a great article about the amounts raised.

Solicitor Training Techniques

Solicitor Training TechniquesIn every nonprofit that we council for fundraising and development, we provide tips, techniques, and training on how to ask for money.  Whether we are talking to staff, board or committee members, we know there is a lot of fear around the ask.  We also know that each and every person can overcome that fear with a little solicitor training.

Here are seven solicitor training techniques to help you with your next solicitation:

    1. It may seem easy, but don’t discount that your state of mind–whether positive or negative–will fill the room and affect the outcome of your solicitation.
    2. Take a partner with you. Whether you are close with the prospect or just meeting for the first time, a two-person approach will set the scene that it is not just a social visit, but a meeting about the nonprofit to gather feedback from the prospect and solicit his or her support. It will create a set of expectations for everyone involved. Friends can catch up at another time when you don’t have a specific agenda.
    3. Take a notepad with you. It won’t be rude if you take notes. Instead, it will show that you care about what they say and you want to be able to share their thoughts with the organization. Quick note: I used to take notes on my IPad at meetings but I found that people weren’t sure if I was taking notes or scanning Facebook. This is a place where pen and paper should rule.
    4. It is the most valuable skill that you will use in your meeting. Don’t think for a minute that what you say will be more important than what the prospect says.  Your job is to acknowledge their concerns and tailor the conversation to the prospect’s point of view. And you can do that, if you are really listening.
    5. Know that you are as prepared as you can be. That means you know the donor’s:
      • Giving history (to your organization and other nonprofits)
      • Interests in your nonprofit (if they have given any indication in the past)
      • Connections and points of entry to the nonprofit
      • What you are going to ask them for
      • How you will handle the most common objections that you can expect to hear
      • What you will say and do if you don’t know how to address their concerns
      • When and how you will follow up with them
    6. Remember that you are not asking for a personal favor and the donation is for a nonprofit in which both you and the prospect believe. You should not be afraid or embarrassed to ask.  You will not personally benefit from the gift, which means, if the person says no, they are not saying no to you. They are saying no to this gift at this time to this organization.  Of course, if the person says, “yes,” you should both celebrate helping the nonprofit.
    7. Plan on thanking them with a personal note. The organization should have its own processes, but a handwritten note from you will go a long way towards building a stronger relationship between you and the prospect and the prospect and the organization.

    Listen with full concentration. Ask with confidence. Know you did all you could do.

    And if you are still concerned about asking, contact me to arrange for personalized solicitor training techniques that you can start to apply today.