Jerold Panas. One of recent decades’ top practitioners and consultants on fundraising and philanthropy. His fundraising books are classics. And his advice? Gold.
That’s why I’m excited to share with you Panas’s “16 Golden Rules for Asking for a Gift.” Edited slightly to better fit leaders of mosdos Torah, each of these 16 tips will add new value and polish to your next donor meeting.
Here they are:
- Be able to articulate your mission and vision, programs and impact with crystal clear clarity.
- Make absolutely certain that, in your heart of hearts, you’re completely committed to the worthwhileness of your cause and importance of your work.
- Learn everything you can about the probable donor you’re meeting with.
- After a careful assessment, determine a specific amount to ask for. Don’t ask for a range - give a specific amount.
- Give thought about how to express the amount in your request. Say it out loud several times before your meeting. This will build your confidence.
- Remember - getting an appointment is harder than getting the gift. if you get the meeting, you’re 85% of the way toward securing the gift.
- Practice, practice, practice. Write out what you’re going to say.
- In advance, write out all the reasons your probable donor may hesitate to give. Practice responding to each one.
- Take someone else to your meeting. A colleague, board member, or significant donor can make a magic partnership.
- Right away, establish rapport with your prospect.
- It’s crucial to probe for concerns. Ask questions. Listen 75% of the time. Talk only 25%.
- Convey to your donor the benefit they get when giving to you. They need to see their gift as a win-win for both you and them.
- Don’t let objections rattle you. In truth, they are your best friends. Probe for concerns.
- Remember: it’s not about money. It’s not about your organization. It’s entirely about the mission you’re pursuing and the people you’re serving.
- When you’re finally ready to ASK, use words like, “I’d like you to consider a gift of…”
- Don’t ever leave a meeting without securing some kind of commitment - either the gift itself, or the date you will follow up.
16 gems. That’s what you’ve just acquired by reading this list. Go through it a few more times. File it away somewhere you can access it.
But don’t wait to start applying it. Take a look at your current meeting routine. Check off how many of these rules you’re following. Wherever you can add, add.
I can’t wait to hear about how smoothly your next donor meeting goes!