By Sarah Melinger, Vice President – Impact Services
Ah…the first pages of a new book…so much anticipation…what might happen? What might I learn? All these feelings and more are what makes a reader want to dive in and find out how it all plays out in the end. If we jump to the last page without reading the entire book, what might we miss? We lose a lot of the context, and most importantly, we lose the small moments in between the beginning and the outcome that make it so special. Sure, you get to know what happened, but did you feel connected to the characters?
Asking a donor for gift is a lot like reading a book…you should embrace and savor all the small moments between that first meeting and the moment you invite the donor to support your organization. You don’t want to turn to the last page too quickly…you will miss the small details that they share with you about their families, their pets, their vacations…their passions. This is where true relationships are built, and this is where a great fundraiser gets the opportunity to help donors truly practice their philanthropy.
In the same way you don’t want that great book you are reading to end, you don’t want your relationship with your donor to end. Savor it…don’t rush it. Build a true, sincere relationship. Slow down and relish the small details. In listening and learning, waiting for just the right moment, you’ll develop a keen sense for what your donor wants and how that desire matches with your organization’s needs.
If you take it slow and read your donor – one special page at a time – you will know when the time is right to ask for the gift and together enjoy that satisfying ending!
Have questions about reading the room with your donors? Contact Let’s Build Hope – we want to hear from you: (314) 716-2496 or LetsBuildHope@lbh-stl.com.
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