Knock Their Socks Off
“How do you imagine Sagita feels about spending up to four hours each day collecting water? If you were Sagita, wouldn’t it be great to have time to play and to see your friends?”
The fundraiser is asking the donor to step into Position 2 to experience what it’s like to be Sagita. Once she’s there, the donor with the preference for Position 2 might be better placed to give — and give generously.
But some people find it very hard to view the world from Position 2.
Let’s say our Water for Life fundraiser knows the donor he’s meeting with struggles to be “inside” a situation in another person’s shoes. So he takes a slightly different approach: Position 3 or the outside observer.
“Sagita is 10 years old. Imagine you had a Webcam in her village and could watch her rise at 5 a.m. to walk three miles along a dusty track to the nearest pump in the next village. There you see her fill two five-gallon jerry cans with water. She balances one on her head and carries the other. You watch as she stops frequently to change hands as she walks back to her house. Imagine at the end of school you hear her tell her friend she’s too busy to play since she has to help her mother by collecting more water.
“What could you say to Sagita to explain why she can’t have access to a well? What sort of child would you be looking at if collecting water was a simple matter of walking to the end of the village?”
The fundraiser is asking the donor to step into Position 3 to observe Sagita, to look into her world from the outside.
The learning here is simple but not easy. Next time you’re talking to a donor, notice how she talks about her experiences and if she describes them mostly through Position 1, 2 or 3. And then try and frame your ask in that position. Your ability to influence will increase.