As most of you know, the first Thursday of every month has been dedicated to featuring a short video from Henry Freeman, who is an accomplished non-profit and fundraising professional. We affectionately call this monthly series “Hangin’ With Henry” because of the conversational format around which he has framed his online videos. This month we’re talking about Opening the Door for a Future Visit.
For those of you who subscribe to DonorDreams blog and get notices by email, you will want to click this link to view this month’s featured YouTube video. If you got here via your web browser, then you can click on the video graphic below.
Personally, I can recall countless times where I’ve had difficulties securing an initial meeting with a prospect/donor. In hindsight, my struggles have always stemmed from:
- not having much (or any) relationship with the person
- not understanding the person’s philanthropic vision (and reason they support us)
- simple fear of the unknown
My first strategy has always been reaching out to someone who knows us both and asking that person to set up the meeting. Of course, this isn’t always an option.
Our friends at 501 Videos recently published a similar video to Henry’s as part of their FREE Movie Mondays service. The video was titled “Getting the Donor Meeting” and the interviewee provides additional helpful tips. It is definitely worth the click!
The tip that I received almost 10-years ago (it was from a video produced by Bob Osborne of the Osborne Group) that has been the most successful for me was:
“Have three reasons for needing to sit down with a prospect/donor.”
It is important to make these reasons “real and genuine” or you will come across as plastic and insincere. However, you likely have lots of reasons to sit down with someone is you just thought about it for a few minutes. Here are just a few suggestions:
- You are looking for advice
- You need help with a project
- You need help opening a door
- You want to share something (e.g. annual report, success story, etc)
- You need feedback on a special event (e.g. critique, evaluation, etc)
- You want to talk about their charitable giving and future support of the organization
You always want to include the last reason in the laundry list of bullet points in order to avoid turning the meeting into an ambush.
How have you gotten over the hurdle of securing difficult meetings with prospects/donors? Please share your tips and best practices in the comment box below.
Here’s to your health!
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC