Provide Options In Your Ask
Here is how one major gifts officer turned a donor’s $2,600 annual giving one year into a gift of $56,500 the following year.
A major gifts officer was putting together a proposal for a foundation. He had learned about how another organization had success with listing donor projects separately in one publication because a donor came back and offered to fund several projects. So, he listed all the projects the foundation was interested in but also put a tally — $125,000 for all the projects — at the end of the proposal.
The donor called and said: “Well, we have $56,000 left in our funding for the year and your top three projects come to $56,500, so we’ll fund those.” Remember, the previous year’s donation from this same foundation was $2,600.
This is why in sales a good salesperson will often provide two options to the one the salesperson really wants the customer to buy. This is a variation on the technique of showing the breakdown of the total ask. The three options include:
- The preferred option
- The second option, which may be at a higher price point
- The third option, which is a lower price point than the preferred option
And the language sounds like this:
“Mrs. Jones, as we have talked over the last few weeks, I have concluded that [insert option No. 1] might be the best choice for you. However, you also might be interested in [insert option No. 2] or [insert option No. 3].
This gives the donor choices and control — and different price points or ask amounts. The idea is to give the donor options — a menu of things he or she can support that align to their interests and passions.
Give this a try but make sure all the projects or programs you pick align to the passions and interests of the donor. Try both ways and see what works for you. The key is to give the donor choices and control in the area that interests them.
If you’re hanging with Richard it won’t be long before you’ll be laughing.
He always finds something funny in everything. But when the conversation is about people, their money and giving, you’ll find a deeply caring counselor who helps donors fulfill their passions and interests. Richard believes that successful major-gift fundraising is not fundamentally about securing revenue for good causes. Instead it is about helping donors express who they are through their giving. The Connections blog will provide practical information on how to do this successfully. Richard has more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising experience, and is founding partner of the Veritus Group.