9 Guaranteed Ways to Get the Major Donor Visit
“If you want to milk a cow, sit by its side,” said veteran major gifts fundraiser Jerold Panas in his iconic book, "Asking."
Did you know, according to Panas, you’re 85 percent on your way to securing a gift if you can get your prospect to agree to a visit?
But how do you get the cow to cooperate? Ay, there’s the rub.
Why is it so hard to get a visit with a prospect? It just is. People screen phone calls. They don’t answer emails. They’re busy. And, let’s face it, they know what this is about. Once you get in the room with them, you have your chance to win them over. But how to get there?
Acknowledge that the hardest part of fundraising is getting the visit. Once you accept this, you’ll be less frustrated. There’s nothing wrong with you if you’re having a hard time getting through to someone; everyone does. Persevere. Try different channels until you find one that works (phone, email, text, social media, etc.).
Be donor-centered; everyone has their favorite communication method. For example, you may think a text is too intrusive. But that’s your perspective, not your donor’s. For some folks, there is nothing more intrusive than a phone call (because, increasingly, busy people don’t want to talk to you in real time). Here are some specific tips that will help you get in the door.
If you like craft fairs, baseball games, art openings, vocal and guitar, and political conversation, you’ll like to hang out with Claire Axelrad. Claire, J.D., CFRE, will inspire you through her philosophy of philanthropy, not fundraising. After a 30-year development career that earned her the AFP “Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year” award, Claire left the trenches to begin her coaching/teaching practice, Clairification. Claire is also a featured expert and chief fundraising coach for Bloomerang, She’ll be your guide, so you can be your donor’s guide on their philanthropic journey. A member of the California State Bar and graduate of Princeton University, Claire currently resides in San Francisco.