When visiting prospects and donors, it is essential to listen carefully. You will want to learn about their philanthropic aspirations and legacy hopes. Listening to your prospect or donor rather than simply pitching your organization is a big part of what donor-centered fundraising is about.
For thousands of years, wise people have understood the value of effective listening. For example, Epictetus, the ancient Greek philosopher, said:
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Last week, I wrote about the importance of getting out and visiting prospects and donors (“Want to Know the Secret to Raising More Money in 2013?“). Now, I want to suggest that while we should certainly listen with our ears during those visits, we should also “listen” with our eyes.