on in Fundraising

The same side of the table.

That's the goal on a major donor call – not to be sitting across from the prospect “making your case,” but side by side figuring out how to make a real dent in an issue you've both prioritized.

It seems like the Holy Grail, being on the same side of the table.

How do you make that transition; cross over, as it were, from asker to partner?

You listen.

b2ap3_thumbnail_women-talking.jpg“Ask questions,” was the advice given recently by an experienced asker, as she explained how she draws a prospect into speaking about what matters to them.

Once she’s figured that out, she can zero in on the aspect of her nonprofit most likely to intrigue the prospect – and that’s the angle that enables the conversation to take a sharp tack from a “sales call” to a mutual exploration.

Questions like:

“What do you think of our organization?”

“Why do you think [our mission] is important?”

“What do you like best about what we do – and why?”

Major donor development starts from the premise that we all want to do good.

Finding out how the prospect in front of you defines that good, is the key to a successful partnership – and to more resources for your organization to super-size its impact.

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