Adapted from Grassroots Fundraising Journal
When would you like me to wash your car?
Have you considered adopting an adult?
May I have another piece of cheesecake?
But seriously, folks ...
As a fundraiser, you're probably focusing on "the ask": how to frame your request in the most compelling, inspiring way. Without a doubt, a strong ask is one of the keys to successful fundraising – but then what? When you hear the words, "Yes, I'd like to help," how do you respond?
Be grateful and enthusiastic. Show your heartfelt appreciation. Talk about how the gift will make a difference. Then it's time for the "after questions."
Not every question below is relevant for every donor or every visit. Choose the questions that seem most relevant and adapt them to your needs and circumstances.
"How would you like to pay? Do you want to write a check now? Would you like us to send you a pledge statement in the mail? Are you interested in signing up for our monthly sustainer program?"
Many solicitors bring pledge forms to the meeting and fill them out with the donor. The question above, along with several below, could easily be included on this form.
Capture all this information and enter it in your database or other donor management system immediately. Congratulations! You've just created a personalized road map for engaging your donor and honoring his wishes. If you use it, and use it diligently, it will lead to repeated (and larger) gifts.
Andy Robinson and Harvey McKinnon© 2010, 2012, Andy Robinson and Harvey McKinnon. Adapted from Grassroots Fundraising Journal, vol. 29, no. 5 (Sept.-Oct. 2010); adapted with permission.
Harvey McKinnon (www.harveymckinnon.com) and Andy Robinson (www.andyrobinsononline.com) are consultants based, respectively, in Vancouver, BC, and Plainfield, Vermont. Harvey's latest book is 11 Questions Every Donor Asks; Andy's is How to Raise $500 to $5000 From Almost Anyone, both published by Emerson & Church. Harvey knows more jokes; Andy makes better salsa.
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