After reading 10 TRAITS OF TERRIBLE MAJOR AND LEGACY GIFT FUNDRAISERS and seeing some comments, with one in particular referring to the show up and throw up fundraiser, it reminded me on a couple of “professional” fundraisers I have met.
Their modus operandi was to make an appointment with a potential supporter and talk the whole way through the meeting, the wouldn’t give the person they were speaking with the opportunity to talk.
They also forgot the old expression “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak” – yes, they really did like the sound of their own voice.
Often when speaking with them about why they weren’t gaining support, they would say that they had no idea why people weren’t attracted to the organisation; after all they had talked about the successes of the organisation, how it was meeting goals, how important the staff were. But, they didn’t talk about the beneficiaries of the organisation, nor did they talk about current supporters and how they gained from being associated with the organisation.
I recall helping some organisations gain new major sponsors in a nice simple way. We invited some current major sponsors and some we were trying to woo to meet with us. All we did was give an update as to what we had been doing, some of our successes. Then we invited the current sponsors to talk about why they were supportive, what they were doing and let them answer any questions the prospective sponsors had.
At the end of the meeting, two of the prospective sponsors pulled out their cheques books and signed up, the third did the same a few days later.
You don’t have to be the one doing all the talking, actually you should be keeping your mouth shut as much as possible, let the prospects ask questions, and if you can get current supporters to pitch for you.
It works, why not give it a shot.
And, remember – less is more.
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”