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How to Ask a Penetrating Question to Your Best Donor

I had for over a decade, a secular donor, who told me that giving to me (read frum Jew) will help him ‘get up there’, pointing to the shamayim.

Each time I was in a position to ask for his support, I would remind him of this motivation. It worked.

Asking great questions changes so much about the way you will understand your current and prospective donors.

Asking questions will allow you to find out what makes a donor tick. What they care about. Why they give. What you need to do to get a larger gift.

Bottom line is - You will clarify what is unclear.

If you had 10 questions you could ask your biggest donors. And they would give you honest answers, what would you ask?

Here are some questions I ask.

  1. What’s your story? How did you get to where you are today?
  2. What are your core strengths that got you there?
  3. What do you deeply care about?
  4. What are you passionate about?
  5. What do you want to have contributed to the world by the end of your life?
  6. If you had $50M to give away to help Am Yisrael, what would you do?
  7. What values drive most of what you do?
  8. What Jewish values do you most want your grandchildren to live?
  9. Why do you support your top three organizations?
  10. What is important to you?
  11. What is stopping you right now to be a six figure donor to my organization?
  12. What do I have to do to get a larger portion of your support?
  13. What do you care about that we do?
  14. What way do you prefer that I communicate with you?
  15. What would it take to get your wealthy friends to also support us?
  16. What bothers you about the way I run this organization?
  17. What impresses you most about what we do?
  18. What is holding you back from giving us more?
  19. Where could we fit into your vision?
  20. What can I do more of to strengthen our relationship?

The truth is, you can ask all of these questions to your donors. For sure it has to be in the right time and context. But ask you can.

And you’ll be surprised about the clarity the answers will give you.

Write down the answers! Reference them in subsequent conversations with the donor. Doing so will show that you listened and truly care about the responses.

What questions do you have that you will ask a donor this week?

B'Hatzlacha raba


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