Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry http://www.gailperry.com Nonprofit Fundraising Consultant | Board Development | Keynote Speaker Sun, 24 May 2015 17:24:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 This Tip Makes Asking for a Gift Much Easier and More Successful http://www.gailperry.com/2015/05/this-tip-makes-asking-for-a-gift-much-easier-and-more-successful/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/05/this-tip-makes-asking-for-a-gift-much-easier-and-more-successful/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 00:20:44 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17441 It’s the scariest moment in fundraising. It’s when you sit down with a prospective donor. You look them in the eye. And you ask for a gift. What would happen if you turned the conversation over to your donor? It could be quite different! Here is a high-impact approach suggested by the very smart Andrea […]

The post This Tip Makes Asking for a Gift Much Easier and More Successful appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
It’s the scariest moment in fundraising.yes

It’s when you sit down with a prospective donor.

You look them in the eye.

And you ask for a gift.

What would happen if you turned the conversation over to your donor?

It could be quite different!

Here is a high-impact approach suggested by the very smart Andrea Kihlstedt, one of the masters of our business.

Andrea lays out six simple steps to secure a wonderfully generous gift from your donor.

And it’s step number 3 that is so revolutionary to me!

ALL of these steps engage your donor deeply. They let your donor take the lead.

Six steps to a perfect, conversation that ends in a gift the donor WANTS to give: 

1. Settle down and get in sync.

You can chat about fun and social things for a while to relax both of you.

Don't make your ask feel like a sumo confrontation!

Don’t make your ask feel like a sumo confrontation!

In the south, where I live, the small talk can go on for some time.

And you can’t rush this step – especially if your donor is enjoying herself!

2. Confirm why we are here.

I think it is good manners to open up the conversation by confirming what you are up to:

“We’re here today to chat with you about our new project and to discuss your interest in joining the campaign at some level.

You are not YET asking – instead you are asking for permission to discuss it.

3. Here’s the GOLDEN TIP: Turn the conversation over to your donor by saying:

“Tell us why you are so interested in our cause.”

Here are other ways to say it:

“You’ve been involved with us a long time, we’d love to know why you are involved.

“You know, you’ ve been so loyal to this effort – how did you come to believe so deeply in this issue?

“Tell us a little more about you. What is it that first drew you to our organization?”

You are turning your focus directly to your donor.

You’re asking your donor to present your case for support from HER perspective.

So you don’t have to make such a big presentation, instead she does it for you.

And how very elegant and appropriate to ask this question!

Again, it’s good manners. And it gives the donor some level of control over what’s being discussed.

Best of all, your donor is sharing with you what she deeply believes in, and what part of your project she cares about most. 

And you didn’t have to do the work.

Your goal is to find out where your donor's interests are.

Your goal is to find out where your donor’s interests are.

4. Make the ask based on your donor’s personal values and her specific interest.

“You’ve told me you are interested in this – and maybe this is what you’d like to do?”

“It sounds like you may be interested in supporting our xxx  program.

“Here’s a something that might interest you.”

BINGO… you’ve greatly increased the chances that she’ll say yes.

Step 5. Explore with your donor. Get specific.

Figure out what needs to be done next in order to firm up a gift.

“Well would you like to make this gift now or later?

“Would you like to meet the person who heads up our program?

“Do you need to visit with your financial advisor?”

Step 6. Confirm: Confirm the plan and clarify the next steps.

In this final this step, you tie it all down and specify what comes next.

“Ok, then we’ve decided that I’ll bring the head of the program over to meet you next week. And in the meantime, you’ll be checking with your financial advisors.”

BOTTOM LINE:

This simple 6-step model works remarkably well as long as you frame what you want in the context of the other person’s desires.

What are your favorite asking strategies? Share some tips with a comment below!

 

The post This Tip Makes Asking for a Gift Much Easier and More Successful appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/05/this-tip-makes-asking-for-a-gift-much-easier-and-more-successful/feed/ 2
Love Song to My Major Gift Prospect List! http://www.gailperry.com/2015/05/love-song-to-my-major-gift-prospect-list/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/05/love-song-to-my-major-gift-prospect-list/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 13:05:24 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17417 I’m admitting it. I am warped. Maybe it’s weird or something but I just love major gift donors. And I love the hunt to find them. I love deep reconnaissance, finding out what’s in a prospective donor’s heart and mind. I love hearing their story. And I just love figuring out how – just how – […]

The post Love Song to My Major Gift Prospect List! appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
I’m admitting it. I am warped.asian

Maybe it’s weird or something but I just love major gift donors.

And I love the hunt to find them.

I love deep reconnaissance, finding out what’s in a prospective donor’s heart and mind.

I love hearing their story.

And I just love figuring out how – just how – can I develop the donor to become as passionate about my cause as I am.

It’s just so much fun!

So clearly I must be warped?

What I love most of all is my Top Prospect List of Major Gift Donors!

Why?

Because in one place, here is THE list of folks who have the potential to change the world at my organization.

target

Your Major Gift Top Prospect List helps you FOCUS your attention in the right place.

My Top Prospect List tells me tons of juicy information on one simple sheet of paper.

I can see – in one glance – exactly what I have to work with.

It’s a happy compilation of the wonderful people who just might make really big investments in my cause.

It tells me how much financial potential from major gifts might be available to my organization. (nice!)

It’s my portfolio.

It’s my work plan.

It’s my work LIFE in a way for the next few months.

It’s also an exciting place of possibility and vision – because it represents what’s really possible for my wonderful nonprofit.

I love to rate and rank the names of potential donors on my list – over and over.

For example, I’m constantly asking myself things like this:

  • Is this executive really a potential million dollar prospect?  Or should we focus more on a smaller gift from him?
  • Might this lovely older lady be our big investor? I know she loves our cause. What can I do to make her even happier with us?
  • Should we approach this foundation again so soon? One of their board members is on our team and can help us. What could they give?

When I was a staff fundraiser I used to be thinking about my top prospects ALL THE TIME.

I’d be saying to myself, what can I do today to make them love us even more????

You need to be thinking about YOUR top prospects all the time too!

You need to know WHO they are.

You need to constantly evaluate them for their giving ability and their interest level.

Women own more of the nation's wealth than men. Don't forget them as major gift prospects!

Women own more of the nation’s wealth than men. Don’t forget them as major gift prospects!

Why?

Your Major Gift Top Prospect List helps you set priorities for your time.

It can be really confusing to work on major gifts.

For one thing, where do you start? How do you choose where to focus?

Before I set up a firm prospect list that had ratings and priorities next to people’s names, I would feel confused.

I didn’t know what to do first.

But once I organized my Prospect List, I had a ROAD MAP to success. YES!

I knew where to start, who to focus on and why I should invest so much time with them.

Your Top Prospect List will take the fuzziness out of the major gift fundraising process. (and make your boss happy.)

My boss, the Dean of the Business School, would sometimes wonder if I was just out there socializing around.

Before he and I developed our Top Prospect List, we felt that sometimes we were just shooting from the hip.

We were GUESSING at who to see and when to see them.

Then we did the HARD WORK of analyzing our true potential, and ranking potential donors for their financial capacity and their interest level.

After, we had a fabulous guide that we consulted and revised regularly.

It became our GAME PLAN.

We had a list that told us who was important, who we should see first, and who we should leave on the back burner.

And my boss knew, when I was out of the office, that I was spending my time at its highest productivity.

AND, he knew how much money we were working on raising, and how far we were from closing the bigger gifts.

BOTTOM LINE

Your Prospect List is your essential tool for raising major money for your organization.

Keep it fresh and keep it alive. Use it regularly and you’ll raise more money!

How are YOU doing with your own prospect list?

Leave a comment and let me know!

 

The post Love Song to My Major Gift Prospect List! appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/05/love-song-to-my-major-gift-prospect-list/feed/ 2
My $5 Million Capital Campaign Ask that BOMBED http://www.gailperry.com/2015/05/my-5-million-capital-campaign-ask-that-bombed/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/05/my-5-million-capital-campaign-ask-that-bombed/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 06:49:33 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17395 I wish you could have been there. . . . It was a hot summer day in Virginia. I was seated in a small conference room, with one of Virginia’s top business kingpins. There the successful businessman sat —  so smart and so together – at the head of the table. And we all lined […]

The post My $5 Million Capital Campaign Ask that BOMBED appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
I wish you could have been there. . . .bombed

It was a hot summer day in Virginia.

I was seated in a small conference room, with one of Virginia’s top business kingpins.

There the successful businessman sat —  so smart and so together – at the head of the table.

And we all lined up on the other side of the table:

  • the President of a fabulous local college,
  • the wonderful Chair of our capital campaign,
  • the successful businessman’s right hand lady,
  • and me – consultant to the College.

And we were there to make a $5 million solicitation.

We were going to ask him to name one of the schools at the college.

Oh yes, we had rehearsed!

We had even practiced! Twice, even.

I was so smart that I had scripted every single thing we said.

We timed our conversation down to the minute – who would say what, and when they would say it.

It was like a performance.

Or, maybe it was more like a sales presentation.

We were so organized, and so proud of ourselves.

I had even memorized my part so that I could pull it off perfectly.

Only we had forgotten a few big things. 

Here’s what went wrong:

1. We didn’t have any private conversations with the donor ahead of the big solicitation.

There was no way to know if he was really excited about the idea – or not.

We had to work thru his right hand lady who was the gatekeeper.

She was on our volunteer team, and we had to trust her to do the warm up.

What would I do differently now?

I’d manage somehow — someway — to find out about his temperament.

I would manage to chat up the donor somehow at an event. I’d be charming and make his acquaintance:

  • I’d ask him to tell me about his family’s involvement in the college.
  • I’d ask him to tell me the story of taking his business public.
  • I’d remark about his right hand lady’s involvement and much we liked her.
  • I’d ask him about the legacy he wanted to leave in the region where he was so successful.

I’d hope that might establish grounds for me to chat with him more and find out his interest in a large naming opportunity.

2. The room itself was awkward and uncomfortable.

I read a study recently that said people were more generous and open to new ideas if they were seated in comfortable chairs.

Well . . . . this wildly successful company had a reputation for sparse amenities.

The owner prided himself on a no-frills office.

So our room itself did not lend itself to relaxation, jovial conversation and great visionary thinking.

Alas.

What would I do differently now?

I’d do everything I could to change the location!

I’d find a place where he was comfortable.

But a place that had comfortable chairs!!

3. We overly scripted the solicitation.

In our nervousness about the whole thing, we clung to our previously assigned roles.

We stuck to the script for dear life.

Everything was completely programmed. I think maybe we threw up a “wall of words.”

There wasn’t any room for HIM TO TALK.

What would I do differently now?

I’d plan for every time we mentioned a topic, to pause and wait for him to fill in the quiet space.

I’d create conversation at every opportunity.

 4. We didn’t plan to allow for conversation.

Somewhere we had forgotten to make this into a conversation.

We didn’t think to ask him to talk to US.

We just wanted to talk to him. :(

What would I do differently now? 

I would walk in with my group, and before we had said a word, I’d turn the conversation over to him.

I’d ask him to tell us WHY he cares so much about that small local college.

I’d let HIM present the case for support to US, not the other way around.

That way, our meeting would get off on the right foot.

Step-by-step through this big ask, I would pause and encourage his feedback.

THEN  — after much conversation taking lots of tie — we’d probably emerge with a nice commitment.

BOTTOM LINE

Don’t throw up a “wall of words” at your donor.

Be sure you do smart reconnaissance before you make the visit.

Warm your donor up as much as possible, and . . .

listen Your Way to the Gift!  

 

 

 

 

The post My $5 Million Capital Campaign Ask that BOMBED appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/05/my-5-million-capital-campaign-ask-that-bombed/feed/ 1
How to Warm Up Your Donors for Big Major Gift Asks http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/how-to-warm-up-your-donors-for-big-major-gift-asks/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/how-to-warm-up-your-donors-for-big-major-gift-asks/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 02:03:06 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17368 Donors are people just like we are. They don’t want to be surprised by a solicitation. If you have a close relationship with your donor, then you’ll want to lay careful groundwork to prepare her. And you’ll want to do this well before you bring in a delegation to sit down with her for a […]

The post How to Warm Up Your Donors for Big Major Gift Asks appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
Donors are people just like we are.for post

They don’t want to be surprised by a solicitation.

If you have a close relationship with your donor, then you’ll want to lay careful groundwork to prepare her.

And you’ll want to do this well before you bring in a delegation to sit down with her for a formal discussion.

You should always let her know what is coming, so she will be ready to discuss a gift.

Here are some easy and polite ways to ask for permission for an “ask discussion:”

Our CEO and board chair would like to come chat with you about the project we’ve been discussing. Would you like to meet with them?”

Or:

We’ve always dreamed of naming our new wing after your late husband, who founded our organization. Is that something you might like to discuss?

Or:

I know how much you care about the ballet. We’d love to get together with you and brainstorm about how you could be even more involved!

Or:

You are really one of our true believers in this cause. We’d love to tell you about the Founders Circle and see if you might like to join!

Or:

We’d like to sit down with you and your family and give you an update of the endowment your father set up 20 years ago. Is that something you might like to do?

Or:

May we come chat with you how we could partner together in the future?

Always ask for permission to discuss a major gift!

When I was a staff fundraiser for UNC-Chapel Hill, I would literally ask my board members if they were ready.

I’d say:

In major gifts fundraising, the relationship is more important than the ask.

In major gifts fundraising, the relationship is more important than the ask.

“You’ve been so involved! I’m wondering if you are ready to discuss your campaign gift? The dean would like to come see you.”

Once, I was having dinner in New York City with one of our million dollar prospects. I asked him if he was ready.

My donor said: “How much are they going to ask me for?

I took a deep breath and said, “I think they are planning to ask for you for a million.”

He sat silently for a while, playing with his fork.

And then he said, “Tell them to come next year, not this year.”

Now, was this good major gift fundraising?

YES! Because it prevented anyone from being embarrassed.

He didn’t have to say “NO” to the Dean.

And the dean didn’t go ask and come away empty handed.

We made everybody look good and the donor was pleased that he was not put in an awkward situation.

3 great reasons WHY you should gently prepare your donor for a major gift ask:

1. You’ll find out if the time is right.

We all know that timing is everything.

It needs to be the right time for your donor to discuss something big.

There could be illness or a divorce in the family. Or the time could be just right – they could be selling off assets – or receiving an inheritance.

If you can let her know an ask is coming, then she can gently say “not this year” or “be sure to bring xxxx person.”

She might even tell you that she would like to get to know your CEO better before she discusses an investment. That’s useful info!

2. You are more likely to get a yes if your donor is prepared.

If you tell her that your CEO would like to chat with her about the campaign,  she will start thinking about her commitment.

Then you’ll be more able to have a substantial conversation with her.

If she is not ready to discuss it, then she simply won’t be willing to meet. And you’re dead in the water.

3. It’s good manners too.

It’s how you would like to be treated.

People don’t like to be surprised by a solicitation.

Have you attended a formal luncheon that turned out to be an “ask event” and nobody told you it was coming?  YUCK!

BOTTOM LINE:

This is the right thing to do.

People need time to think about big gifts.

Warm them up well, and they will be more generous.

How do YOU warm up your donors for a big ask?

Let us know with a comment below!

 

The post How to Warm Up Your Donors for Big Major Gift Asks appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/how-to-warm-up-your-donors-for-big-major-gift-asks/feed/ 4
Building an Internal Culture of Philanthropy to Support Major Gifts Takes Time and Effort! http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/building-an-internal-culture-of-philanthropy-to-support-major-gifts-takes-time-and-effort/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/building-an-internal-culture-of-philanthropy-to-support-major-gifts-takes-time-and-effort/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 01:22:23 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17329 Consider THIS provocative idea:    If your organization does not embrace a healthy culture of philanthropy, your organization will NOT SURVIVE outside the next decade. Does that get your attention? Here’s why: The donor landscape is rapidly changing. And fundraising is changing too. Today’s major gifts donors are expecting different things from nonprofits. So if […]

The post Building an Internal Culture of Philanthropy to Support Major Gifts Takes Time and Effort! appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
Consider THIS provocative idea:   sign hope next exit

If your organization does not embrace a healthy culture of philanthropy, your organization will NOT SURVIVE outside the next decade.

Does that get your attention?

Here’s why: The donor landscape is rapidly changing.

And fundraising is changing too.

Today’s major gifts donors are expecting different things from nonprofits.

So if you cannot turn your organization’s eyes toward understanding your donor’s needs and desires…you will not make it.

How do we build a culture of philanthropy inside our own organizations?

You and I both know that it doesn’t happen overnight.

Today we have another guest post from the brilliant Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels of the Veritus Group, authors of the award-winning Passionate Giving blog. (You need to subscribe!)

Jeff writes:

women try to do everything

Most development offices are “under resourced.” That means everyone is trying to more than humanely possible!

“A few months ago I was speaking to a group of development professionals at a conference about Building a Culture of Philanthropy.

It was if the group was a massive balloon and I was the pin that popped it.

Folks all of a sudden talked freely about how hard it was to work at their organizations.

They had story after story of impossible leaders, bad board of directors, terrible relationships with program people and no sense of camaraderie with their co-workers.

Many were just flat beaten down.

I kept thinking,

“Imagine how their donors are being cultivated and stewarded when the fundraisers have lost faith in their own organizations.”

My response to them was not to lose faith.

Building a culture of philanthropy that will support major gifts fundraising takes time.

It’s about patience and persistence.  Just like cultivating your donors.

A $1MM gift doesn’t happen overnight; neither does changing an organization’s understanding of the role of philanthropy.

But, I also presented a picture of what an organization can look like if they have a  strong culture of philanthropy.

Take a look:

1.  Every new staff or board member is educated on the role the donor plays in the organization.

This means from the janitor all the way to the CEO.

Fundraising is a lonely job. That's why you need your organization's full support!

Fundraising is a lonely job. That’s why you need your organization’s full support!

2. All staff meetings have discussions about donors.

Too many staff meetings are just focused on “what you do” and metrics.

Stories about donors need to be told at staff meetings so everyone understands how important donors are in carrying out the mission.

3.  Program folks understand they will work with development to meet, talk and ask donors for gifts.

Yep, development and program actually become friends and communicate freely with one another and earn each other’s trust.

4.  Development staff will work in the program to understand exactly what it is they do.

This means getting your hands dirty and stepping into the shoes of those who do the work you are trying to raise money for.

As a development professional you need to be broken by the work so you can effectively communicate that to the donor.

5. Over half of the President or CEO’s time is devoted to cultivating donors either onsite or wherever the donor is.

This says that your leader embracing fundraising and is willing to boldly ask and convey his vision to donors.

It’s critical that leadership embrace this concept or your organization will sink fast.

6.  All board members are required to spend time working with program and development staff.

This allows the board member to truly understand what is going on inside your organization and how they are critical to its success.

7.  The organization creates multiple opportunities for staff, board and donors to engage together during the year.

This creates understanding and more importantly trust with one another.

Lack of trust always seems to come up with talking about the barriers to having a meaningful relationship between program and development.

8. Development staff is constantly communicating to the rest of the organization about how they are engaging donors.

I don’t know what it is, but Richard and I don’t see development staff and MGO’s doing a very good job talking about their donors and where they are in building that relationship.

This can lead to a ton of confusion and miscommunication about how donors are being cultivated.

Everyone in development should know who is doing what and what is going out to all donors.

Yes, this can all be attainable with your organization.

And, it starts with you.

But, it will take effort, patience and persistence to get there…and ultimately everyone to get aboard the bus to create a strong culture of philanthropy.

It won’t happen overnight, but if you believe passionately in your mission, then working toward this vision is worth it, right?

Jeff Schreifels

 Do you have a culture of philanthropy at YOUR organization? What are your challenges?

 

 

The post Building an Internal Culture of Philanthropy to Support Major Gifts Takes Time and Effort! appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/building-an-internal-culture-of-philanthropy-to-support-major-gifts-takes-time-and-effort/feed/ 1
Donor-Centered Moves Management: Systematic Cultivation for Your Major Gifts Prospects http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/donor-centered-moves-management-systematic-cultivation-for-your-major-gifts-prospects/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/donor-centered-moves-management-systematic-cultivation-for-your-major-gifts-prospects/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 13:31:23 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17313 Do you want more major donors? You can have them! Here’s a great tool for building those important relationships with top prospects over time. And we all know that is what will result in the big gift. Today, guest blogger Claire Axelrad of the award-winning Clairification.com blog joins us to discuss Moves Management. What’s Moves […]

The post Donor-Centered Moves Management: Systematic Cultivation for Your Major Gifts Prospects appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
Do you want more major donors?Jigsaw_pieces-300x230

You can have them!

Here’s a great tool for building those important relationships with top prospects over time.

And we all know that is what will result in the big gift.

Today, guest blogger Claire Axelrad of the award-winning Clairification.com blog joins us to discuss Moves Management.

What’s Moves Management?

It’s a major donor cultivation approach to plan, make and keep track of a targeted number of “moves” or “touches” per year to major gift prospects.

Each “move” is targeted to move your prospect along a relationship continuum – from awareness… to interest… to involvement… to investment — depending upon where they currently are in relationship to your nonprofit.

When sufficient “moves” have been made, the culmination is your request for a gift/increased gift.

One person, assigned as the Moves Manager, assures that all moves are coordinated and the solicitation occurs at the appropriate time.

The goal of all this work is getting your major donors to feel:

  1. I’m loyal to this charity.
  2. This is my favorite charity.
  3. I’m a committed donor.

Sounds good, right?

Major donor cultivation is a team contact sport.

You really want to have several people connecting with your donor over the months (or years) leading up to the ask.

WHy? No one individual is right to be matched with every prospect.

Moves management helps you lay out specific steps to bring your prospect closer and closer.

Moves management helps you lay out specific steps to bring your prospect closer and closer.

Because of course you don’t want donors’ only interaction with your organization to be a hands-off institutional one.

That’s not the emotional connection we’re talking about and the one that will lead to a successful ask.

People who personify and represent your nonprofit can and should be involved with donors. (Just be sure they are well briefed!)

And simply “connecting” with your donors isn’t enough, either.

Donors need to LOVE you to make a significant commitment to your organization.

But YOU’RE gonna have to get them to that point.

Think about what’s actually going on when a donor says “Yes!” to a major gift solicitation.

They’re actually saying “I love you.”

They’re making an active commitment to you, your organization and your cause.

What gets them to the point where they’re ready to make this commitment?

YOU DO!

Your job is to create a climate for donors to fall in love with your cause.

You’ve got to be pro-active to create this climate.

You can get them there with a board member’s coffee invitation, a tour conducted by a program staffer, and culminating with a face-to-face with the executive director.

In between there will be a number of thoughtfully planned ‘touches’ orchestrated by the development director or major gifts officer.

Everything is done according to a plan.

Your job is to make your donors fall in love with your cause.

Your job is to make your donors fall in love with your cause.

So how do you do it?

First you develop a large list of possible ‘high-touch,’ ‘medium-touch’ and ‘low-touch’ cultivation ‘moves’ to incorporate into your major donor-investor prospect’s individualized plan.

You’ll have some standard moves you use again and again.

A move only “counts,” however, if it’s executed according to a donor-centered plan that’s personalized for each donor.

In other words, a mass mailing of holiday cards is not moves management.

Then you draw from this list to develop your tailored plan for each top prospect in your major donor prospect portfolio.

With each move you make, ask yourself:

  • How is this bringing me closer to asking for a gift?
  • What did I learn that will help me secure a gift?
  • Did I find out what motivates my prospect to be philanthropic?
  • Did I find out what they love most about my organization?
  • What does it make sense to do next?

Caution: Moves management is not a one-size-fits-all approach! It’s custom tailored — for major donors only—who are the top 20% who give you 80-90% of your philanthropy.

It’s not something you do TO the prospect.

And it’s not something you do when the spirit moves you.

It’s a deliberate, focused set of actions that all build on each other to create close relationship, a happy donor, and a lovely generous major gift to your nonprofit.

How systematic do you get with your donor cultivation?

Do YOU use the moves management system?

Leave a comment and let us know!

 

The post Donor-Centered Moves Management: Systematic Cultivation for Your Major Gifts Prospects appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/donor-centered-moves-management-systematic-cultivation-for-your-major-gifts-prospects/feed/ 1
How to Get Off the Dang Fundraising Treadmill http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/how-to-get-off-the-dang-fundraising-treadmill/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/how-to-get-off-the-dang-fundraising-treadmill/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 16:47:22 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17305 I wish you could have been there. It was a chilly winter day. I was in a large back room of a big office building, meeting with the board of a top-notch local nonprofit. This savvy board had gathered with me for a fundraising retreat/workshop. I was interviewing the Development Director — in front of […]

The post How to Get Off the Dang Fundraising Treadmill appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
I wish you could have been there.article-1165935-042F4620000005DC-936_468x300

It was a chilly winter day. I was in a large back room of a big office building, meeting with the board of a top-notch local nonprofit.

This savvy board had gathered with me for a fundraising retreat/workshop.

I was interviewing the Development Director — in front of the board — about the organization’s fundraising program.

(I always like for the board to hear directly from the staff about their fundraising challenges and opportunities.)

Then I asked her the golden question.

This is the question that makes board members sit up on the edge of their seats and listen closely:

“How much money do you think is out there RIGHT NOW for your organization . . . but you don’t have the time or resources to go after it?

Without hesitating for a second, she said: “$300,000.”

Well, you could have heard a pin drop.

There were even a couple of audible gasps among the board members.

This woman knew EXACTLY how much she wasn’t able to pursue. . . . NOT because it didn’t exist but because she was stuck doing events and admin work when she could have been out of the office working with large donors.

Then a board member in the very back of the room piped up: “I think it’s closer to $500,000.”

That’s how much money this organization was leaving on the table.

It was enough to make you weep.

How much money is your organization leaving on the table each year?

How much money is your organization leaving on the table each year?

Even with a fundraiser who was smart, dedicated, and hardworking.

This is the biggest fundraising challenge for everyone – you know it and I know it.

You have GOT to find a way to free your staff and yourself up to go after those major gifts.

It is the ONLY, only, only way to get off the dang fundraising treadmill.

If you don’t ever focus on major donors, you’re just putting out fires.

Dealing with routine admin crap, instead of connecting with major donors.

Raising hundreds when you could be raising thousands (or more).

If you don’t tackle and master major gift fundraising, it’s unlikely your organization will ever grow.

It’s that simple.

It’s also that complicated.

These ideas may help:

— Hang with me to learn how easy and fun major gift fundraising can be

— Look for ways to free up your time

— Say “no” more often.

— Explore how to fund an admin or tech support person that will free up your time, and

— Get coaching and training to improve your major gift skills.

By the way, do you want to know what happened after the board retreat?

The wise, business-oriented board members hired a part-time admin person for the development director the very NEXT WEEK.

They wanted to put their well-paid and skilled fundraiser to work at her highest and best use.

It’s good old human resources 101 – to deploy staff resources at the right place.

My advice to get off the Fundraising Treadmill:

If you’re a frustrated fundraiser, commit EVERYTHING you’ve got to finding the support and resources you need so you can raise the money that’s out there.

Maybe it’s better software. Maybe it’s a part-time admin. Maybe it’s my major gifts coaching program.

Whatever it is, it’s going to be worth literally every penny, because it’s gonna lead straight  to more major gifts.)

If you’re that fundraiser’s boss or other decision maker, decide to stop being inadvertently penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Resolve that you’ll do whatever it takes to set your fundraisers up to bring in those major gifts.

Don’t leave hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars on the table for your wonderful cause!

Major Gifts vs “Other Priorities?”

I got a shock recently when I discovered that some fundraiser’s bosses had vetoed their participation in my major gift coaching, citing “other priorities” and “budgetary concerns.”

The fundraisers were sssoooooo disappointed. I felt for them.

That’s the kind of shortsighted thinking that will keep you and your organization ON the treadmill.

What software, coaching, admin, or other support do you think would make a difference to YOUR major gifts program?

I’d love to know! Let’s create a discussion!

Leave a comment and tell me.

 

The post How to Get Off the Dang Fundraising Treadmill appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/how-to-get-off-the-dang-fundraising-treadmill/feed/ 13
32 Ideas From #AFPFC That’ll Make You A Smarter, Happier Fundraiser in 2015 http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/32-ideas-from-afpfc-thatll-make-you-a-smarter-happier-fundraiser-in-2015/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/32-ideas-from-afpfc-thatll-make-you-a-smarter-happier-fundraiser-in-2015/#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:09:10 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17239 The AFP Conference in Baltimore this week was the best ever! Here are some of my favorite tweets from the conference, from some of the smartest presenters. Some are inspirational and some are just plain old cutting edge, including wonderful quotes about fundraising from Seth Godin and Whoopi Goldberg. A big thanks to Rory Green […]

The post 32 Ideas From #AFPFC That’ll Make You A Smarter, Happier Fundraiser in 2015 appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
Ideas from AFPFCThe AFP Conference in Baltimore this week was the best ever! Here are some of my favorite tweets from the conference, from some of the smartest presenters.

Some are inspirational and some are just plain old cutting edge, including wonderful quotes about fundraising from Seth Godin and Whoopi Goldberg.

A big thanks to Rory Green @roryjmgreen, who created images with quotes from the conference that took the twitter sphere by storm!

By the way, you need to follow Rory’s hilarious tumblr feed: Fundraiser Grrl. 

Leave a comment and let me know which of these nuggets you like best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post 32 Ideas From #AFPFC That’ll Make You A Smarter, Happier Fundraiser in 2015 appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/04/32-ideas-from-afpfc-thatll-make-you-a-smarter-happier-fundraiser-in-2015/feed/ 14
How to Drive Major Donors Away and Kill Off Your Major Gifts Program http://www.gailperry.com/2015/03/how-to-drive-major-donors-away-and-kill-off-your-major-gift-program/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/03/how-to-drive-major-donors-away-and-kill-off-your-major-gift-program/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:45:56 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17201 Hint: Your donor says to you, “I’m not an ATM.” Have you ever had the sense that your major gift prospects are fleeing from you? Do they turn down your invitations for events, tours, even private VIP get-togethers? Do they refuse to see you with comments as: “You don’t need to spend time with me!” […]

The post How to Drive Major Donors Away and Kill Off Your Major Gifts Program appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
Hint: Your donor says to you, “I’m not an ATM.”

Have you ever had the sense that your major gift prospects are fleeing from you?

Disapproval

Do they turn down your invitations for events, tours, even private VIP get-togethers?

Do they refuse to see you with comments as:

“You don’t need to spend time with me!”

Or

“I’m too busy – call me in two months.”

“What happened?” you are thinking to yourself.

“What did I do, or say?”

Hint: Do they ever say to you, “I feel like an ATM for your organization and I’m tired of it.”

The donor says “I am not an ATM.”

This is a huge warning sign.

When you make your major gifts prospects feel like ATMs, do you know what you are doing?

You are making it all about the MONEY.

When you make it all about the money, donors can find it to be an affront. Particularly major gift prospects.

Especially if you dive right into a solicitation on the very first visit.

They are offended, and perceive you as too pushy and aggressive.

So what do you do?

Instead, ask your major gifts prospect for something besides money.

Ask your donor for “help” or “advice” or “their best thinking.”

In doing so, you LISTEN to them.

When you listen to them, you honor them with your undivided attention. And you are asking them for something besides money.

Don't make your donors feel like ATMs!!

Don’t make your donors feel like ATMs!!

They actually have much more to offer you in addition to money.

You do NOT subject them to a boring presentation. (PLEASE!)

Remember: when you meet with a major donor, THEY expect to do the talking.

You have my sympathies! I know it can be hard to contain your enthusiasm!

An experienced fundraiser is ALL ABOUT the donor.

He can control any natural tendency to blather endlessly. He does not monopolize the conversation.

He can sit silently, assessing the donor’s body language, and watch for cues of greater interest.

He can ask leading questions.

He finds out his donor’s hot buttons.

He also is getting his donor’s BEST thinking about such issues as fundraising strategy and other major gift prospects.

He may get guidance – and even help – on how to pull in other important people to back your project,  and how to gain more attention and visibility for your project within your donor’s network.

He also leaves with a followup next step – so he can forge a strong relationship with his donor.

You honor your major gift prospect by asking her for something in addition to money: her help.

Otherwise, you’ll always be making her feel that all you want from her is her money.

And that is a clammy feeling if you are a donor.

So if your donor EVER says “I’m not an ATM,” you have a very clear indication of what has gone wrong.

It’s time to back off and engage with them differently.

After a bit of time it will be appropriate to ask them again – you’ll be able to tell.

Pressured by your boss to ask for money on the first visit? I’ll answer that one later – and I DO have a strategy to offer!

BOTTOM LINE

Asking too often will dig your own grave as a fundraiser. Asking for more than just money will take you very, very far!

Have YOU ever had a donor say to you “I”m not an ATM?”

What did YOU do? Share it for us – I’d love to know!

The post How to Drive Major Donors Away and Kill Off Your Major Gifts Program appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/03/how-to-drive-major-donors-away-and-kill-off-your-major-gift-program/feed/ 4
Your Major Gift Fundraising Questions – Answered! http://www.gailperry.com/2015/03/your-major-gift-fundraising-questions-answered/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/03/your-major-gift-fundraising-questions-answered/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 13:53:14 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17168 Q: Should we include a major gift prospect in our email blasts which include asks? Yes, but you should personalize these appeals, acknowledging your prospect’s relationship with your cause, if at all possible. It’s a mistake to remove your prospect from all your communications – including appeals. Why? Because it may take months to prep […]

The post Your Major Gift Fundraising Questions – Answered! appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
Q: Should we include a major gift prospect in our email blasts which include asks?

Yes, but you should personalize these appeals, acknowledging your prospect’s relationship with your cause, if at all possible.Hope-this-works-233x300

It’s a mistake to remove your prospect from all your communications – including appeals.

Why? Because it may take months to prep them for a really big ask- and they need those small fundraising and connecting touches all along.

Once, one of our major gift prospects said to me. “Why don’t you all ever ask me for money? It’s weird, and I’d like to give a little something right now!”

That was my lesson learned!

Q: Should the Executive Director go on major gift cultivation visits with me?

Actually I’d like to see you visit with the donor first by yourself. This helps you start developing a personal friendship with him or her.

Once you have established your own relationship with your prospect, then bring your ED in to meet them as a second step in the prospect’s cultivation.

So make it a one- two punch. First you. Then the next step is to meet your ED.

You want step-by-step moves with your prospect.  Introducing her to someone higher up on the ladder, so to speak, is a time-honored strategy.

Q: When someone cheerfully declines your invitation to get involved, how do you best keep them loosely in the loop?

Ok you have several strategies here:

1. See if you can keep snooping and find out the area they are really interested in. If you can discover their hot button, try inviting them to something related to their personal interest.

2. Just keep them on the invitation list or keep circling back with them once every month or two – ever so nicely and cheerfully.

3. Try getting a board member to open the door to them.

4. At some point, you may have to simply “bless and release” them.

Q: With multiple people in your development department, should just one person do major gifts or can you spread that through the department?

You can do it both ways, depending on the reliability and savviness of your staff members.

Are they comfortable in front of major donors? Can they handle themselves and the relationship? Can you count on them?

If so, then each person might be able to handle a few prospect assignments depending on their work load.

If you allocated 5 prospects each out to 5 people then you have 25 prospects being covered, and that works well.

Q: What’s your tool for keeping notes on your major gift donors? Do you have a form or just use a database?

When I’m in a meeting with donors, I’m scribbling on paper. When I get back to the office, I file a formal Call Report in the database system.

BOTH are essential. You MUST have your paper trail and track your work.

Q: How do you get your board to understand the importance of being seen around town? I simply can’t afford to attend all the events on my own.

1. Can you afford one event a month? Sometimes the Chamber’s Business After Hours events are low cost. There are civic events, city festivals, First Fridays, gallery openings – all manner of gatherings going on in your town all the time. Choose some of them.

2. Keep at it with your board.  Remind them that you need to be out and about nurturing relationships and that’s where you “run into” prospects.

3. Explain the importance of having close ties with the people who allocate your city’s resources. There’s the old saying: “If you are not at the table, then you are probably on the menu!”

Q: What if the volunteer (board member) you bring tends to monopolize the conversation with your major gift prospect?

Ohhh boy, this happens all the time. This is because your volunteer doesn’t understand the purpose of the visit. I bet your well-meaning volunteer thinks he or she is supposed to 1. do the talking and 2. make a presentation.

WRONG!

Give them these articles of mine to read:

The Fundraiser’s Kiss of Death: Talking Too Much

How to Get the Most Out of a Major Gift Visit!

Q: Do you take notes in meetings or after?

I personally like to take notes as I go. I think the donor is flattered if you furiously write down their words.

Makes them feel important, AND you want to use the donor’s OWN WORDS when you solicit their gift.

Q: Gail, can you speak to emailing instead of calling to get a meeting?

I would try both. Some donors prefer email and some prefer calling.

Personally it’s MUCH easier to get up with me via email than it is with the phone.

Everybody’s different. Try Facebook, too, with some donors.

Q: Is it okay to take in a small gift on first visit? Candy … ?

Well, personally I am a sucker for dark chocolate. :)

But I am not so sure that a gift works in the first visit – really depends on what it is.

I’d rather bring something that reflects my organization’s work.

Q: How important it is to actively engage major donors in projects? For example to do something in an organization?

It’s extremely important. A recent Bank of America High Net Worth Donor Study found that wealthy donors who volunteered gave much more.

Donors who volunteered over 100 hours last year gave their organizations an average of $78k (compared to an average gift of $39k for those who volunteered less.)

Q: When you talk about long term relationship, are you talking months, years?

I am talking about years and years and years, including even a bequest.

Donors live a long time and they have something called “Lifetime Giving Value.”

Q: How do you work with an ED who thinks he’s a good fundraiser, but does the opposite of everything you just said?

Oh boy, this happens a lot! First of all, I’m sorry!

Some EDs are impossible. When they are a complete boor, you try to keep them away from donors.

Or you can try the psychological approach: get them to come up with their specific objectives (find out this, this and this) for the meeting. Then help your ED think through how best to accomplish the objectives (i.e. asking questions and listening.)

You can try giving them some of my articles and drill into their head that if they do more than 50% of the talking, then they are dead.

Q: One of my donors said to reach out in a specific month to discuss renewing their gift. I reached out via email however have not heard back. How can I attempt to reach out again without seeming too aggressive?

Gosh, this is a toughie. I’d just keep cheerfully circling back – “You wanted me to get back in touch with you so I thought I’d just touch base and see how you were. … ”

Q: Gail, so when we first ask for a meeting, is it better not to say that we will ask them for money and just focus on fundraising strategy / program.

Yes it is much better. You don’t want to ask them in the first meeting. That’s awkward and presumptuous – you don’t know much about their level of interest  or what their hot buttons are.

So the first visit should be to introduce them to your cause and see what they are interested in. And engage them in conversation about various aspects of your work. (What do you think of . .. . What are your impressions of . . . )

Q: How do you end a phone call or meeting when you can tell that the donor is not in a good mood or is uninterested?

Great question! In these two situations, it’s best to cut off the bleeding and simply get out the door.

Invent a reason to leave quickly. (“Oh gosh, I have just gotten a text from xxx and I really need to run!”)

Say nicely, “Thank you so much, I really must go now.” How can they argue with that?

Q: As a man, I don’t think it is appropriate for a hello kiss with a female prospect – thoughts? Open to feedback!

Oh goodness, I agree. Formality is always preferred.

Let your donor make the first step toward the kiss and let’s just hope it is an “air kiss!”

BOTTOM LINE:

There are many nuances to major donor fundraising – all these questions are typical – and you SHOULD be asking them.

And remember, if you want to raise serious money in major gifts,  you might be interested in my 6- month Step-by-Step Major Gifts Coaching program that starts on April 8.

I’ll be answering even more questions next week – keep them coming, ok?

 

 

The post Your Major Gift Fundraising Questions – Answered! appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/03/your-major-gift-fundraising-questions-answered/feed/ 4
5 (Very Simple) Steps to Build a Major Gifts Program from the Ground Up http://www.gailperry.com/2015/03/5-very-simple-steps-to-build-a-major-gifts-program-from-the-ground-up/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/03/5-very-simple-steps-to-build-a-major-gifts-program-from-the-ground-up/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 14:14:58 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17107 Major gifts are the “big win” in fundraising. All nonprofits hope for the large gifts that help fund important programs and solidify your financial base. We all know that the return on your investment of time and energy is much higher in major gifts than in other types of fundraising. Then why don’t all organizations […]

The post 5 (Very Simple) Steps to Build a Major Gifts Program from the Ground Up appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
Major gifts are the “big win” in fundraising.
building blocks1

All nonprofits hope for the large gifts that help fund important programs and solidify your financial base.

We all know that the return on your investment of time and energy is much higher in major gifts than in other types of fundraising.

Then why don’t all organizations press forward with a major gifts program?

It’s because the time and effort to develop a major gifts effort is more than many organizations can spare.

People tell me they are nervous about approaching major donors. Or they don’t think they have the prospects.

Sometimes the biggest roadblock is simply getting an appointment. Others say they have serious difficulty making the ask.

I feel their pain! I’ve been there too. And I can say that major gift fundraising is not for the fainthearted.

People struggle for all these reasons and more. That’s why I’ve  created a new major gifts coaching program – to give smart fundraisers they support they need to bring in the big gifts.

You can find all about major gift coaching here.

Go ahead and schedule a private strategy session with me if you have questions and we can talk about whether this is a good fit for you and your organization. I’d love to help you!

5 Very Simple Steps to Major Gifts

Here’s a great — very simple — step-by-step guide to create and implement a successful major gifts program for your organization.

Whether you are large or small, you can follow this simple blueprint:

Step One: Develop a Major Gifts Team

Major gift fundraising is a team sport, not a solo one.

If you are trying to do this all by yourself, you’re making it much harder than it needs to be.

A team helps expand your contacts and bring in new information to the process.

  •  Enlist your CEO and selected board leaders
  •  Show them how much potential money is out there
  •  Create clear jobs for everyone: identifying, strategizing, opening doors, hosting cultivation events, soliciting
  •  Set clear goals
  •  Meet with your team often to maintain momentum

Step Two: Create and Maintain a Master List of Major Gift Prospects

Your prospect list is your fundamental tool for your major gifts program.

Choose a smaller number of potential donors and work them thoroughly.

Rate them on their interest level in your cause and their financial capacity.

  •  Start with the donors you have
  •  Size up their potential
  •  Review your prospect list with other donors – do your research.
  •  Track your Major Prospect List in excel or your donor database.
  •  Prioritize them and set next steps

Step Three: Work With Major Donor Prospects One at a Time

Don’t rush the relationship — you are exploring and getting to know your prospects.

Make them close friends of the organization through frequent contact.

Spend the face time needed to develop your relationship.

  •  Create an individualized cultivation plan for each person
  •  Create trust by doing what you say you’ll do
  •  Listen deeply to your donor
  •  Develop each relationship with the long term in mind
  •  Track and measure each step you take

Step Four: Create a Personalized Asking Approach for Each Major Donor Prospect

Don’t rush to the ask! You can only ask when the donor is ready.

If you spend careful time cultivating a warm relationship with your donor, then the ask will take care of itself.

You need to show your donor how YOUR opportunity matches your donor’s vision.

  •  Get ready carefully
  •  Make your project exciting and compelling
  •  Be able to SELL your case with enthusiasm
  •  Test to see if your donor is ready
  •  Learn as much as possible about your donor’s interests, values and vision for a better world.

Step Five: Make the Ask

The ask is really seamless if you do a super job developing your relationship, listening to your donor, and warming her up.

It is just a continuation of the process, and your donor will say to you “how can I help?”

  •  Make the ask into a conversation
  •  Don’t low ball your donor – ask for the stretch gift if they are ready
  •  Let your donor do 50% of the talking in an ask visit
  •  Make your project into an “opportunity”
  •  Add urgency: Explain why the donor should give right now
  • Follow up! An ask is not an ask without followup!

What are your biggest challenges making your own major gifts program wildly successful?

Can you share them below with a comment?

The post 5 (Very Simple) Steps to Build a Major Gifts Program from the Ground Up appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/03/5-very-simple-steps-to-build-a-major-gifts-program-from-the-ground-up/feed/ 0
How to Get the Most Out of a Major Gift Visit! http://www.gailperry.com/2015/03/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-a-major-gift-visit/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/03/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-a-major-gift-visit/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2015 15:26:58 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17051 You finally have the meeting with Mr. Big. What’s next? What do you do? What do you say? It can be tough to keep your eyes on the prize when you get in front of your best major donor prospects. And it’s easy to get distracted and go the wrong direction! And let’s not forget: […]

The post How to Get the Most Out of a Major Gift Visit! appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
Prospective DonorYou finally have the meeting with Mr. Big. What’s next?

What do you do? What do you say?

It can be tough to keep your eyes on the prize when you get in front of your best major donor prospects.

And it’s easy to get distracted and go the wrong direction!

And let’s not forget:

Your real goal is NOT money.

It’s NOT to make a presentation either.

In your first real visit to this donor, you’re after something way more important.

What you really want: a warm, friendly relationship.

So what’s that mean, anyway?

It means that after this visit, your prospect just might respond to your emails. And he might answer your calls.

May she’ll be willing to come to an event, or take a tour.

Maybe even make a gift. (YES!)

develop a relationshipLeisurely conversation will tell you so very much information!

But let’s not rush things during this first “date” with your prospect.

Instead, let’s just take things slowly. If you can do that, you’ll create something MUCH longer lasting.

Another free major gifts webinar!

I’m having yet another free webinar next week on this mysterious area called major gifts:  Skyrocket Your Fundraising With a Systematic Major Gift Program.

If you’d like to establish a major gifts program for your organization that can systematically bring in the big funding you need, then join me on March 11.

I’ll give you an overview of how any organization, any size, can close large gifts from donors who really care. DO JOIN ME!

Find out more and register for the FREE major gifts webinar here

Now back to our conversation about visiting major donors: here are THE three things you want out of every single major donor visit you make:

1. You want to establish a lasting, engaged relationship.

You have a long list of things you’d like from this prospective donor. You’d like to be able to ask her for advice. Or about other potential donors.

You want her opinion of new events or initiatives.

You want her to tell you what other people in town are saying about your organization. You want to find out what it will take for her to make a gift.

In other words, you want her to become a friend to your organization.

This kind of long term productive relationship is worth a LOT to an organization. You want plenty of community leaders feeling friendly to you. Right?

2.  You want to find out where your major gift prospect stands.

Another important goal for your visit is to find out your prospect’s disposition toward you and your cause.

Finding out what’s in your donor’s heart – that’s the first step toward a gift!

Perhaps he’s a former donor—does he still feel close to your organization?

heart centered fundraising

Perhaps she’s brand new to the community—could she become interested in your cause? Could she be helpful?

If a couple are potential donors, then you’ll be trying to gauge their level of interest so you can bring them even closer.

This is why you should listen so much during a donor visit!

You REALLY want to know what’s going on in your prospect’s mind.

And the only way to find out what you really need to grow the relationship is to get them to talk.

Many people think their job is to make a presentation.  Or bring the prospect “up to date.”

But this may or may not be a good idea. Hint: It’s only a good idea if the prospect WANTS this info.

If you’re watching her reaction to you, you’ll know right away if she does (or not).

 3.  You want a next step with your major gift prospect.

Why is the next step so important?

Because you won’t have a long term relationship with your donor without it!

develop a relationship You’ve got to figure out your next step with your prospect!

Don’t leave the visit until you have an idea for follow-up. That’s the most important objective of all!

You’re always looking for what you can do NEXT to encourage your prospect’s interest.

Can you find a reason to circle back to them, so you keep the communication coming?

Did you find out what they were interested in, so you can follow up?

Did they ask a question that you couldn’t answer?

Great! Now you have a reason to follow-up.

Want to know exactly how to make a successful visit on a major gift prospect?

Make sure to listen to the recording of my free webinar that 3000 people attended: How to Make a SUPER Successful Call on A Major Donor Prospect

Let me know what you think!

 

The post How to Get the Most Out of a Major Gift Visit! appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/03/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-a-major-gift-visit/feed/ 0
The #1 Secret of Raising Lots of Money? Face Time With Major Gift Donors http://www.gailperry.com/2015/02/the-1-secret-of-raising-lots-of-money-face-time-with-major-gift-donors/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/02/the-1-secret-of-raising-lots-of-money-face-time-with-major-gift-donors/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:58:42 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=17016 Don’t we love closing big major gifts!  And we all know that is where smart fundraisers should be spending their time. But it can be really tough to get out of your office. And that’s a problem when you’re trying to raise serious money. After all, to get to know your donors, you’ve got to […]

The post The #1 Secret of Raising Lots of Money? Face Time With Major Gift Donors appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
Don’t we love closing big major gifts!  And we all know that is where smart fundraisers should be spending their time.coffee

But it can be really tough to get out of your office. And that’s a problem when you’re trying to raise serious money.

After all, to get to know your donors, you’ve got to spend time with them. It’s that simple (and that complicated).

My free webinar this week on “How to Make a Successful Call on a Major Gift Prospect” maxed out at 1000 attendees within hours, so I scheduled a second one, which also maxed out!

I’m presenting it again Thursday March 5 (you can find out more and register here). I think EVERYBODY – your ED, your board chair and all your fundraising staff NEED this training!

I’m also launching my brand new Step-by-Step Major Gift Coaching Intensive this month to give you the training, structure, and accountability you need to make your calls and close those major gifts. I’m being deluged with questions and applications and hope you’ll join us!

“You Can’t Raise Money In Your Office!”

That is what Ayda Sanver, a very smart consultant colleague of mine once told me.

I hear ALL the time from my colleagues that they’re just not getting out and meeting with their donors … even though they know it’s so important.

Your face-to-face calls are probably THE missing ingredient when it comes to implementing a successful fundraising plan.

Let’s face it: How else can you forge a deep relationship?

How else can you learn more about the donor’s interests?

How else can you listen, listen your way to the major gift? :)

If you consider the true Lifetime Value of a major donor to your organization, it might be easier to justify getting out there and visiting with them.

WHY is it so hard to get out of the office?

Immediate priorities keep pulling at you. And they take you pretty much nowhere.

Yes, you’ve got your letters to go out, newsletter to craft, meetings to attend, reports to write. There’s the gala committee, the board meeting, the grant report, the stewardship report. And it all has to be done.

Alas. None of that will help you raise the big money you need.

Here’s a step-by-step plan for getting out of the office and making those major gift calls:

1. Set a firm goal for the # of major gift visits you’ll make each month.

Draw a line in the sand. Make a commitment to yourself and your organization.

Commit to making a certain number of visits each month. Is it 12, 8, or 20 visits? (If you’re not a CEO, I recommend making a minimum of 12.)

You’ll never get ANYWHERE without setting this important goal.

2. Enlist internal support to help you get out of the office.

Tell all your co-workers about your goal, and ask them to push you out of the office. You’ve got to have that internal support.

Sometimes non-fundraising staff will raise their eyebrows when we head out for a lunch meeting. (I sometimes used to sense subtle disapproval from some co-workers when I was a staffer.)

That stuff has GOT to stop! Enlist your boss or the ED. It’s up to your bosses to make sure that everyone in the organization supports fundraising.

So be sure everyone knows what your job is and why it’s important for you to get out there.

3. Make your goal for these major gift visits a big deal.

Talk about your goal and the calls you are making.  Get your CEO behind you. Get your board behind you.

Tell everyone that your goal is to make a certain number of visits with major gift prospects each month. Ask for their help.

4. Just do it.

Draw a line in the sand and make a personal commitment.

I send out my Friday newsletter come hell or high water. (Or hurricanes!) I just do it.

No matter what’s going on in my life or business, this newsletter comes out.

And it has made all the difference in the world – to my thinking – to my marketing – to my professional development.

What could YOU accomplish if you had a lot of major prospects under cultivation?

How much more money could you raise? I bet you could bring in a LOT OF FUNDING! :)

Bottom line:

Here’s your motto: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”

Make the commitment.

The dollars will follow!

Don’t forget to join my free webinar on Thursday March 5: “How to Make a Successful Call on a Major Gift Prospect”  (you can find out more and register here).

Question to you:

How often are you out of the office?  How many calls do you try to make each month?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

 

 

The post The #1 Secret of Raising Lots of Money? Face Time With Major Gift Donors appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/02/the-1-secret-of-raising-lots-of-money-face-time-with-major-gift-donors/feed/ 6
The Fundraiser’s Kiss of Death: Talking Too Much http://www.gailperry.com/2015/02/the-fundraisers-kiss-of-death-talking-too-much-2/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/02/the-fundraisers-kiss-of-death-talking-too-much-2/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 16:56:24 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=16929 What’s the kiss of death for every fundraiser? What’s THE best way to turn your donor off? And what can you do to make sure your donor never, ever wants to see you again? What can this awful experience be? It’s when you are guilty of being boring. Ok…. step aside for a minute, and […]

The post The Fundraiser’s Kiss of Death: Talking Too Much appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
What’s the kiss of death for every fundraiser?

Don’t talk too much: it’s the kiss of death!

What’s THE best way to turn your donor off?

And what can you do to make sure your donor never, ever wants to see you again?

What can this awful experience be?

It’s when you are guilty of being boring.

Ok…. step aside for a minute, and put yourself in your donors’  shoes.

Remember your own experiences when you have been trapped with boring people?

What were they like?

Can you remember this?  How long has it been since you were stuck, stuck, stuck in a meeting with someone you could not escape?

Were you longing for a WAY OUT?  Were you desperate to GET AWAY?

Stuck in the purgatory of a hopelessly boring meeting. . . ugh!

Soooooo, do you want your donor to feel like that when YOU are visiting HER?

Guess not, if you want to forge a happy relationship with her!

Here’s the fundamental question:

What’s the best way to be boring? . . . .It’s when you talk too much.

If you talk too much, you’re guaranteed to make your donor’s eyes glaze over.

You’re guaranteed to bore her to tears.

You’re probably even guaranteed to make her wish she’d never agree to meet with you!

The last thing you want is for her to wish you’d just get up and leave.

YOU may think you’re being interesting . . . . .but SHE may think you are droning on and on.

Warning: Talk too much . . . at your own risk!

Too many nonprofit leaders – CEO’s, development directors and board volunteers alike – are guilty of the “talking problem.”

Everyone thinks they need a presentation that can “sell” your donor on the cause.

Everybody thinks they need a “pitch.”

You don’t need a pitch. You need to listen to your donor instead.

Why are listening skills more important than presentation skills?

Because in fundraising, we have to follow our donor’s lead.

We always try to bring our donors out.

How DO you make a super successful call on a major donor prospect?

If you want my secrets to creating SUPER successful visits with major donor prospects, join me Thursday March 5 from 2-3pm.

I’ll be sharing with you my personal strategies that helped me get in the door with million dollar prospects, develop warm relationships with them, and successfully close high dollar gifts.

Click here to register: FREE WEBINAR: How to Make a Super Successful Call on a Major Donor Prospect

It’s far more important to listen than it is to talk.

As major gift fundraisers, we pay very close attention to what is on our donor’s mind, so that we can find out where she stands.

If we want to develop her interest, then we have to know where her hot buttons are.

If we want a warm relationship, then we need to know what is important to her, what her values are, and WHY she is so interested in our cause.

If we have this information, we can probably engage her deeply, get her involved, create a happy long term relationship, and develop some wonderfully generous gifts.

Without this information you are pretty much at a dead end.

If you are doing more than 50% of the talking, then you’re dead.

In fact, I personally prefer to do only about 25% of the talking.

I’m so well trained as a fundraiser that I get a bit nervous if I find that I’m talking too much to a donor.

I”m much more comfortable when she is holding forth.

Then I can just relax, watch, gauge and listen.

I think that self-awareness, self-control and a light touch should be very highly prized skills for major gift fundraisers.

BOTTOM LINE: Make this your fundraising motto: “Listen Your Way to the Gift.”

The donor will show you the way.

But only if you can control yourself.  Only if you can hold back.

And I just KNOW you can do it!

Was this story helpful?

Let me know with a comment!

The post The Fundraiser’s Kiss of Death: Talking Too Much appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/02/the-fundraisers-kiss-of-death-talking-too-much-2/feed/ 25
16 Ways to Get a Meeting With Your Major Gift Prospect http://www.gailperry.com/2015/02/16-ways-get-meeting-major-gift-prospect/ http://www.gailperry.com/2015/02/16-ways-get-meeting-major-gift-prospect/#comments Fri, 13 Feb 2015 17:01:32 +0000 http://www.gailperry.com/?p=16774 Hurray! You have a major gift prospect who seems to be a great fit!  And, you are trying to figure out how to get to know her so you can get her more involved. But now what? What should you say when you pick up the phone or email your prospect? What will help you […]

The post 16 Ways to Get a Meeting With Your Major Gift Prospect appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
Hurray! You have a major gift prospect who seems to be a great fit! sb10061714d-001

And, you are trying to figure out how to get to know her so you can get her more involved.

But now what?

What should you say when you pick up the phone or email your prospect?

What will help you get your foot in the door? What will make your prospect more likely to want to meet?

There aren’t really any “magic words” that are guaranteed to make any major gift prospect sit up and take notice.

But there are ways that can pique their interest, and incline them to say “yes” to a meeting.

For example, if you’ve followed me at all you already know that my all-time, favorite way to get in the door is to ask for an Advice Visit.

I’ve written extensively about Advice Visits– you’ll find more details here, here, and here.

You should always smile into the phone when you ask for a visit!

You should always smile into the phone when you ask for a visit!

Why do Advice Visits work so well?

It’s because your prospective donor will expect to do the talking – not you. (Which is perfect, as far as I’m concerned! Let the donor do ALL the talking if you can.)

  • Your prospect also feels complimented that you want her advice.
  • She even feels a bit honored when you come to her and ask for her input and help.

And no one really listens to anybody these days anyway, do you think?

We fundraisers can set ourselves apart with our donors by simply listening deeply and carefully. You’ll find out everything you need to know!

16 Ways to Get A Meeting With Your Major Gift Prospect

So here’s a list of my favorite one-liners to get in the door!

Advice Visits:

This list is when you already know someone and you are trying to get them more involved.

1. “Can I run something by you?”

This is one of my favorites. It has a casual feel.

And you are teasing your prospect about the topic – and she will be curious!

Your donor may be thrilled to see you again.

Your donor may be thrilled to see you again.

2. “I have a new project up my sleeve and I’d love to get your advice about it.”

Again, your donor will probably say yes because he wants to know what you are up to!

And YOU want to hear what your donor thinks!

 3. “I’d like to get some input from you about . . .

Your donor will say yes because she WANTS to give you advice.

She knows a lot about your cause or your community and wants to offer it.

4. “We want to get your take on something we are working on.”

Again, the element of curiosity is what will incline your donor to say yes.

AND based on this request, the donor realizes that she will not be getting solicited in this meeting, so she may lower her guard and accept the meeting.

5. “Can I brainstorm with you about . . .”

People love to brainstorm. It’s almost always fun to do.

This fundraiser is showing up as charming and likable, don't you think?

This fundraiser is showing up as charming and likable, don’t you think?

Your donor will say to himself “this sounds like fun!”

 6. “I’d like to get your advice on . . . and would love your help with it.”

You have a specific issue.

Your prospect has the expertise to help you solve it. Everyone wins!

7. “We are trying to figure out a way to do xxxx. I’d love to get your input!”

Sometimes your donor has an aspect or angle on a problem that you haven’t thought about.

Try asking about fundraising strategy, or how to get support in the community for your project.

8. “Get your ideas on a new initiative we are thinking of launching.”

This is a huge teaser for your prospect. He WANTS to know what you are up to.

It’s easy to get the meeting when you ask this!

9. “We’d like your input on a project we’re planning.”

Again, you’re appealing to your prospect’s expertise. You’re reminding him that he’s an important part of your team.

10. “I’d like to give you a sneak peak at our plan for X.”

This is huge. Major gift prospects LOVE to have the inside scoop.

This just may be the easiest and best way EVER to get in the door!

11. I’ll be in your area can I drop by?

This has some urgency about it because you are not in your donor’s area often.

Having only a short window of time to make the visit will encourage the donor to say yes.

Thank You Visit:

12. We want to thank you personally for your gift and share with you more about the project you are helping to fund.

I can’t think of a more welcome meeting.

Donors REALLY like to be updated on projects that they are helping to fund. You can’t go wrong with this!

13. Drop off a little thank you present.

Donors LOVE to be thanked!

Remember my motto: “Find Seven Ways to Thank Your Donor and She’ll Give Again!”

“Get To Know You As a Donor” Visit

These last three strategies are from one of the smartest major gift fundraisers I know, Eli Jordfald, at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Eli spends an afternoon every couple of weeks, in her office on the phone, making “discovery calls” to potential donors.

Here are her brilliant strategies to get the appointment:

14. “I’d love to hear why you chose to give.

Now, who would say no to this?

15. “Would you be willing to have coffee with me, I’d love to understand your story.

She is asking with exquisite politeness and charm. Hard to say no!

16. “Mr. Jones, you’ve been a donor all these years. My job is to know our patrons.

This is amazingly smooth. Love love love this one!

BOTTOM LINE

Give these one-liners a try. And let me know how you do!

Leave a comment and share your OWN favorite below:

The post 16 Ways to Get a Meeting With Your Major Gift Prospect appeared first on Fired-Up Fundraising with Gail Perry.

]]>
http://www.gailperry.com/2015/02/16-ways-get-meeting-major-gift-prospect/feed/ 13