Dealing With Objections
If this is a request for a naming project, then don't lower your standards. Let the donor know that his gift can make a real impact in your organization but that this naming opportunity will actually cost the amount you requested. Help him find another way to make an impact in his area of interest. He may come back and surprise you by making the larger gift.
5. Donor objects to the timing: "Wow, love your mission and this project, but I still have a kid in college and the economy has taken a chunk out of my savings."
Find out more about the timing challenges by asking questions. Don't just assume she won't be able to do anything until her child is out of college. Don't make any assumptions about timing objections. Ask questions. Keep them engaged. Ask what timing would work. Suggest other timing. Ask her to start small and work up to a larger gift over time. Keep telling her how her gift makes a difference, and build the relationship.
6. Donor objects to you: Well, this is a sensitive one, and I have never heard a situation where the donor comes right out and says, "I don't like you!" But the fact is that some people just do not mix, and that could be the reason for the objection.
If you get an inkling of this — i.e., there is a sense that something is wrong between you and the donor — then my counsel is to move the relationship to another major-gifts officer. Again, do not take this personally. Some people just do not mix.
Lastly, consider these facts in all of your dealings with donors. Here are the findings from a survey of what donors believe were the reasons they thought the major-gifts officer was not effective in his or her contact with the donor:
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.