Thought Leadership

How to talk to donors

Here are my top 5 favourite points that Rory Green made about effective ways to talk to donors at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) event.

Ramp

Categories: Thought Leadership

February 24, 2014

Tips from the best in the business

Rory Green has an impressive fundraising background dating back to childhood and has worked for groups like the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society and, most recently, the BCIT Foundation

It was my privilege to hear her speak at an AFP event, and a few of the tidbits I took away from her speech immediately helped us help our clients.

1. “Get to know your donor both before your first meeting and during each interaction.”

Advance research can be an invaluable way to establish a connection during your first meeting. Build on what you learn about them as people by paying attention to subtle things like the art on their walls. You may have more common ground than you originally thought.

2. “Listen more than you talk.”

Be present and listen intently to everything that a prospective donor is willing to share. If you focus on jumping to solutions, you could miss valuable insights about their motivations and goals.

3. “Assemble a list of ‘magic’ questions.”

Questions are a great way to get the ball rolling and get your prospective donor talking. Keep a list of ready-to-use questions such as “What are you proudest of?” or “What was the best gift you ever received?” or “Who is your hero and why?” 

A repository of magic questions is great to draw from when you hit a slump in the conversation.

4. “Watch for a spark.”

If you hit on something your donor is clearly passionate about during your conversation — a hobby, person or subject — build on it to learn more about the root of their passion and how it relates to their hopes and dreams for the future. People love to talk about things they care deeply about.

5. “Say ‘thank you.’”

Too many people forget this basic practice. Treat the information a prospective donor shares with you as a gift itself. Be sure to express sincere gratitude for their time and for what they have shared.

Connect with us for more insights to amp up your fundraising strategies and ramp up your donor acquisitions.

Insights

  • Client Spotlight

    Two Million Impressions and 11K+ Website Visits in 2 Weeks

    read more
  • Thought Leadership

    How to build a purpose-driven partnership strategy

    read more
  • Thought Leadership

    How to maintain a healthy brand

    read more
  • Industry Insights

    Anti-racism: doing it right

    read more
  • Thought Leadership

    Reflection and change

    read more
  • Thought Leadership

    Non-profit leaders: we’re here for you

    read more
  • Thought Leadership

    Choosing a federated non-profit funding model

    read more
  • Industry Insights

    Social purpose organizations, a massive $50 million fund has your name on it

    read more
  • Industry Insights

    How to build a culture of trust in a federated non-profit

    read more
  • Thought Leadership

    Corporations: Here’s 3 tips to make the most of your non-profit partnerships

    read more

BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION

Book now

Get social profit inspiration

Our work takes place on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples that is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Learn more