A Fundraiser’s #1 Skill: The Lost Art of Listening

What are the skills the best fundraisers have?

You’d be surprised at my answer: Listening and followup skills are tops on the list.

My recent posts about advice visits and asking donors their impressions are all about listening.

Listen your way to the gift.”

Did you know that listening is actually a gift to the other person?

And who really listens any more?

It’s a compliment to sit quietly and honor the other person with your full attention.

And it’s rare.

It’s not what you think you need to do.

Volunteers and staff all think they need to be able to make a dynamite, enthusiastic presentation. That’s great!

But even more important is the ability to engage them in conversation, to listen to their thoughts on the issue, to carefully consider their questions, and to explore the topic in more detail FROM THEIR POINT OF VIEW – not yours!

Why do you think we call this work “development?”

It’s because it is slow work, developing a relationship over time with someone who really cares about your organization and your cause.

And the way you develop a relationship is listening to the other person.

“When people talk, listen completely.
Most people never listen.”

— Ernest Hemingway