Talking $ With a Prospect

“Consider these phrases, statements, and questions as part of your personal lexicon of donor relationships when dealing one-on-one with a potential major donor: If you’re unsure about the donor’s possible receptivity: ‘Does anybody in your circle of influence come to mind who might be interested in a project like this?’ (If the donor is ‘with’ you and willing to recommend friends, he is probably ready to donate himself. If not, maybe you need to go back to trust building, or the presentation of the case. The answer to this question defines where the donor is on his personal journey.) If you’re unsure about the specific dollar amount that a donor might give — let the donor see the total need, and let the donor set the bar: ‘Here’s the project, here’s what we’re trying to do. It’s going to cost $250,000. I’m going to need a donor to give $50,000, and four donors to give $25,000. I’ll need ten donors to give $10,000 each. Now I know you have a vision for this. Where would you see yourself in this project? Do you see yourself as the top donor? Or somewhere else on the chart?’ The donor will probably set his own bar by mentioning an amount.”

* Like what you just read and want to learn more? Check out, Donors Are People Too: Managing Relationships With Your Ministry’s Major Contributors.


About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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