It used to be the natural thing for us to question everything – we asked why? all the time. Over time we’ve stopped doing that so much – we know more, we don’t ask as much. Asking “yeah, but why?” about your fundraising proposition is a good test of whether you’ve arrived at the nub of the issue yet… and if you can’t answer the whys that you come up with you won’t be answering the whys of your audience
Doing the ground work before investing in a specialist to work with you to deliver a step change in your fundraising will give you the solid foundation from which a lofty building will be able to grow. A lot of this round work is internal – making sure you’re brought the right people with you on this journey of change and that you’ve considered the implications and ramifications on budgets, time, resources.
It is less risky to ask for a gift when you know the person is likely to say yes. Learning how to read the signs of another person’s likelihood to give is sometimes tricky and sometimes really obvious. But fundamentally it is the asking that is the secret: if you don’t ask you definitely won’t get!
Being heard is a vital element of feeling comfortable in a relationship – and that includes the relationships we talk about with our donors in fundraising.
“no, but…” is a conversation killer. The only come back is to disagree and that isn’t going to build a useful conversation.
Even a tiny charity can build a major donor programme. Because a major donor programme can start with a single donor, it doesn’t have to start with a big database, a big spreadsheet and an investment in staff and resources that won’t pay off for two years or more.
The secret is knowing your capacity to delight and then delighting that donor or those few donors you can manage well.