Be Prepared and Know the Desired Outcome for Each Meeting
In the nonprofit arena, and especially in fundraising, we have a lot of meetings!
Board meetings, committee meetings, staff meetings, task force meetings, and especially, donor and prospective donor meetings.
I am a big believer in going into every meeting with an agenda (formal or informal) and a desired outcome.
For board meetings, be sure to have a formal agenda, a timed agenda and talking points for presenters. Be sure that they are prepared. The same for committee meetings. Staff meetings should reflect the professionalism you expect at board meetings. All these should begin on time and conclude at least a few minutes ahead of schedule.
We are big fans of testimonials at just about every meeting. Recently a client initiated this at a board meeting. It was a hit but not the home run it should have been. The client did not preview and coach the presenter, and what should have been a magical three minutes became a meandering 10 minutes.
If you are having a donor meeting, be sure that you are in sync with a donor relationship plan. Understand what you accomplished or learned at the last visit and what the donor might expect, and know what outcomes you would like to achieve — all moving toward a deeper relationship and new or renewed gift commitments.
Go into each meeting prepared with a formal or informal agenda, a sense of timing and desired outcomes.
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.