Major and Planned Giving: Face to face wins the race
Watch and listen for reactions to the level of giving you’re describing. If prospects seem startled by the gift size, explain how other donors have been able to make commitments such as these without affecting their personal lifestyle or disinheriting their heirs. Always have effective stories, even if you have to borrow them from someone, like me.
Remember this point: People do not give because your organization needs money. They give because people need help. Institutions don’t need help and they don’t need money. Rather, your institutions have answers and solutions. You need funds to translate those solutions into direct responses for people.
The ability to motivate donors is concerned with helping them do things they never thought possible. So open with a purpose or consideration. Later you’ll offer technical and tax information (benefits).
Finally, your success is measured by getting people to respond. There are times you don’t even have to ask a direct question; you simply present the opportunity to them, and they see the vision. They are inspired to move. Panas says that motivation isn’t salesmanship. It is helping people understand what must be done and giving them the opportunity to experience the magical joy of doing it.
Jim Gillespie is president of Indiana-based philanthropic consultancy CommonWealth and can be reached at 317-826-3300. Or log on to http://commonweathusa.com.