Six Steps of Capital Campaign Solicitation
5. Asking advice. Ask prospects if there’s something they would like to see the organization do that it isn’t doing, if they have any advice on how to recruit more volunteers and if they know of other people who might be interested in supporting the campaign. Other questions Weinstein recommends are those that relate directly to the solicitation for funds, such as asking what would be the best way to approach a prospect’s company for a gift, what amount of money would be most appropriate to ask the company for, etc.
6. Closing. Pay attention to body language to determine prospects’ feelings toward the campaign. Is the prospect leaning toward you? This might indicate a favorable response to an ask. Are his or her arms folded or in an open posture? What have they said? How did they state the case for support? Are their questions positive? After a prospect has responded positively to the campaign, ask for a multiyear commitment. One way to do this is to comment on the prospect’s understanding of the organization’s mission and goals, and to note that to continue its services it needs support. Refer to literature that lists gift levels and ask prospects the level at which they can help. Practice the closing statement prior to the visit and know in advance the gift level you will target.
After you make your closing statement, wait silently for prospects to respond. They can respond one of three ways: yes, no or maybe. If they say yes, thank them and repeat the details of the gift, e.g., amount, time line, etc. If they say no, determine what it is they’re objecting to. If they’re objecting to the gift level, ask them what level of support they’d be comfortable with. If they are saying no to supporting the campaign, tell them they don’t have to decide at that time. Weinstein suggests first telling “no” and “maybe” responders that you’ll get them more information and speak again in a few months. If the response is an outright “no,” thank the prospect for his or her time and express hope that they will support the organization in the future.