5 Keys to Get in the Door With a Mega-Capacity Donor
So you've identified your big kahuna potential prospect. What next? How do you get in the door?
Here are five quick tips to help you get that very first visit:
- Try to meet the prospect somehow at a social or civic event and introduce yourself.
- Find out where he or she has coffee in the morning, and "gently stalk him or her."
- Does the prospect belong to a certain club or organization, where you can manage to "run into" him or her?
- Does he attend the ballet, local theater, local ball games or his child's soccer games? Those are great places to manage to meet him.
- Get your board member to invite her to your gala or some other social occasion. It's always wonderful to have someone else open the door for you.
OK, now you have met the prospect. What next? How do you get her to agree to visit with you?
- Show up as an interesting, likeable person whom they would like to spend time with. Your appearance, cheerfulness and manners count more than you realize—they are all part of your donor's first impression of you.
- Tell her you want to ask her advice on something, or run an idea by her. It's critical to let her know that she gets to do the talking, not you. So the prospect is not being asked to sit there and listen to you "present" to her. Not at all.
Instead you are asking him to share his best thinking about your organization's current challenge ... and how you can best meet an important community need.
I can promise you that major donors like these kinds of conversations. They love figuring out challenges and problems. They like to help construct fundraising strategies-who would be interested in this, and who you need behind you if you want to succeed.