Connecting with Donors: Appointments or Disappointments?
It's all about connecting
The bottom line? To secure that important first appointment, first find the right connector. If no connector exists, consider sending a meeting request letter from your organization's president, board chair or key volunteer on his or her stationery.
Since the connector must live the story to tell the story, he or she must have extensive knowledge of your organization and support it financially. The connector also must be your advocate; this validates you as important to the process. Therefore, you may want to consider inviting the connector to join you for that first meeting with the prospect.
You cannot obtain a major gift -- or possibly an eventual planned gift -- until you engage the prospect on a personal level in a face-to-face meeting. Step one is securing the first appointment. If you mishandle this opportunity, you may not get a second chance to make a first impression. It's up to you whether the result of your important activity is an appointment -- or a disappointment!
F. Duke Haddad is a fundraising consultant. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
F. Duke Haddad, EdD, CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, he is also president of Duke Haddad and Associates, LLC, and freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the past 13 years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration, master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in business administration, with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.