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
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.