It’s There—Waiting for You
Instead of coming at the potential investor full-bore with a pitch and an ask, however worthy, why not invert the paradigm? Use the initial meeting to become acquainted with Helen and the organization. Instead of asking Helen for money upfront, ask her, "What do you want to accomplish?" Accomplishment in life terms. Draw her out as to her values, her passions. I guaranteed Brenda that Helen will have mostly likely never been approached by a fundraiser in this manner.
Go prepared to ask, I told Brenda, but only if the opportunity presents itself.
At the end of our brief conversation, I told her that my fee for this counsel was a follow-up email on the outcome of her meeting, to take place later that week.
True to her word, I received an email from Brenda late one afternoon a few days later.
It couldn't have been better. Helen was so taken that someone would actually seek her interests, and with Brenda's efforts, she funded the entire summer program on the spot. Wow!
What's more, Brenda left having made a friend as well as acquired an investor in her cause.
Principle 1 of The Eight PrinciplesTM is Donors are the Drivers®. Donors drive philanthropy with their values and visions, not their money. Money is the outcome, not the goal.
The task for Brenda going forward will be to build that relationship—through trust and transparency. If she succeeds, there will be more resources coming her way—from Helen as well as others.
The test for durability will be Brenda's adherence to Principle 7 of The Eight PrinciplesTM, Renew & RefreshTM. Seek first to renew your current investors even as you reach out to refresh and expand those who invest in you.
Larry believes in the power of relationships and the power of philanthropy to create a better place and transform lives.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles. His mission is to give nonprofits and philanthropists alike the opportunity to achieve their shared visions. With more than 25 years of experience in charitable fundraising and philanthropy, Larry knows that financial sustainability and scalability is possible for any nonprofit organization or charitable cause and is dependent on neither size nor resources but instead with the commitment to create a shared vision.
Larry is the author of the award-wining book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising." He is the Association of Fundraising Professionals' 2010 Outstanding Development Executive and has ranked in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the United States by the Wall Street Business Network.
Larry is the creator of the revolutionary online fundraising training platform, The Oracle League.
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