Givens About Asking Actually Its Easy – Very Few AHs are big donors Committed people love to give others the same opportunity to feel good It is just as easy ask for $50k as a $1k. Philanthropists vs. donors
IS ASKING COMPLICATED? Nah – its only 30 seconds different. It is both a science and an art. Send the right person to ask for the right amount for the right cause.
EVERYONE HAS TO ASK FOR THE ORDER! With Vigor, with Passion, with Commitment You cant ask if you dont give That goes for volunteers, staff, faculty – no exceptions Giving is a top-down model – you gotta start at the top (a little secret - Its a lot like pyramid sales) Its all about proportional, sacrificial giving, not lets get everyone to give $1,000.
How Do I Get My Board to Ask? Set the culture early Be sure they are sufficiently inculcated so they are passionate Get them thanking first Make sure the assignments fit Tag team them Pick cherries – and low hanging fruit Take them through some training
How About My President? Remember the 30 second difference Answer Qs before asked Focus, Focus, Focus Early success Calendar far in advance Never cancel Report to the Board Have them sit in on training
Bottom Line: If We Dont Ask We are meeting the mandates of our mission We are on the cutting edge of technology, pedagogy and service No students are turned away All faculty are fully supported No new programming is necessary Excellence is rampant We dont need any more money We fall off the philanthropic radar
Approach Fits Donor Motivations Communitarians – 21% Makes sense to give Helps Community prosper Investors – 15% Evaluates potential Tax advantages make difference Socialites – 11% Less Interested in operations Change the world and have fun doing it
Repayers – 10% First Constituents, then donors Personally benefited, giving back Altruists – 9% Selfless – anonymous often Moral imperative – human growth Dynasts – 8% Family tradition to give Often inherited wealth
Why Gifts Are Made Belief in mission Knowledge of Organization Dynamic leadership Financial Solidity Clear, focused presentation Right Person asked Empathy, Energy, Enthusiasm
Why Gifts Are Not Made No relationship Wrong Interest area Wrong person asked Wrong Amount Timing Lack of Persistence
What are you Selling? Maybe they arent Buying what we are Selling here! Projects and proposals have to be Visionary, Compelling, Lasting, Nicely Packaged, and Show Measurable Community Benefits! PRIMA FACIE!
Big Donors Dont Fund Existing Programs Incremental Improvement Things In Which They Have No Interest Things with Passion that do Not Make Sense
Whom Do We Ask them to Ask? The 20% that can do the 80% Philanthropists Leaders of opinion, movement, action Snakes – detractors NOT small gifters, donors, annual funders How Do We Strategize?
The I and E Session for Prospective Major Donors Current Donors and Prospects LAI – Ability, Linkage, Interest Not what they might give, but what they COULD give should they be moved by our case, team, presentation Strategy – team, timing, project Confidential Group Discussion Lets team take ownership
Forensic Research Fleshes Out… Linkage Ability – Capacity Interest Knowledge Networks Obligations History First, They Do an On-line Search.
But, Donors Care That- The RIGHT person asks The CAUSE is valid The INSTITUTION -and its CEO- is trusted The CASE is visionary The caller is knowledgeable, considerate, and PASSIONATE
Etiquette of Asking. We… are asking for a project to change lives can dollarize the value of the project are committed and passionate pledged already won the campaign on paper did our homework – on you offer opportunity to be part of something transformational
Getting the Meeting 85% of Success Letter of Intent Make the Call Suggest times 30 minutes T - TH Business – not food Knew youd want to hear more… No Thursdays out. How about never. Is never good?
Before the Visit Do your Pre-Planning Make your gift first Assign the team Ride together to the visit Have a plan for the meeting Best Possible Outcome Alternative Offer Minimum Acceptable Outcome An Exit Strategy
Nerves Are Good! A little adrenaline Sharpens the senses Sounds like passion Too much-not so good Lose focus, strategy Why be too nervous? Lack of preparation, strategy, team, project. You will survive this half-hour
Opening the Meeting Business first – small talk later Build rapport then get on with it – 30 min. Testimony We have an exciting project, one we know you will find compelling Not here to ask for money (if appropriate) I will be back to ask for money, but not today Ask series of knowledge Qs
Listen for the Gift 75% of meeting should be listening Panas Says 11 minutes is the max to explain the project Hear their passions, motivations Ask them what they think about the project Probe for concerns – turn objections into shared objectives
Is Our Timing Right? Assess readiness – pick path If time is truly not right – go to least acceptable outcome plan
Close the meeting This has been a great visit, I am so pleased that youre interested in this project. Lets get a date for our next visit – how is next Tuesday at 3? You may get another visit, or may get moved to the ask but… You are ready for either occurrence Lets assume What do you want me to do?
The Moment of Truth Case has been built – in their terms Stress relevancy, drama, urgency Tell story, dont cite statistics Tell how important their leadership or participation is Would you to consider (can we count on you for) an investment of $$ in this project?
After the Ask SHUT UP! Be comfortable with silence You can only oversell at this point Maintain eye contact, interest Whoever speaks next, loses
After the Silence is Broken Answer questions - reinforce positives Talk about pledge periods May need to mention other lead donors but not amounts Thank them deeply, if they say YES! Make the small talk (youll still have time) Take your leave
The Objection Phase How to turn objections around I pay taxes, I heard the school is changing missions, Why build another building, there are empty ones all over town, Get the State to give you $$. Feel, Felt, Found Restate strengths of case, importance, urgency, relevance
But, If They Say… Boy, I have to think it over – Im not sure about this. You say, Of course You should – Ive asked for a significant investment. Return to objectives, set next meeting. But, if NO - Let me ask…was it the.. Amount?Institution? Project?Timing?
Leaving the Meeting Arrange a date for follow up – or to meet w/ the spouse or advisor. Have your calendar handy (not your laptop or PDA) Dont leave a card Send a confirmation letter
Death Phrases of the Worst Askers Since you gave to X we thought you would do the same for us What is it you do? Whatever you can do is great Ill have my secretary follow up Would you consider membership in this giving club?
The Best Askers Are Organized Call on Decision Makers Plan all calls – in detail Have a specific objective Listen, empathize, excite Encourage objections Spell out the ROI to the Donor ASK FOR THE COMMITMENT The campaign chair seems to have a better feel for what Im worth than my broker does!
What about those Nos?? Build strong egos 8 ways Process, not event No money without Relationship 3 to 7 Nos to Get to YES FOR THE 100 TH TIME IN AS MANY DAYS!…I DO NOT HAVE A QUARTER!!
Build Strong Egos Its amazing that if you ask, you will receive Many benefits (think of 8) New student referrals Placement opportunities Volunteer potential Feedback on marketing efforts success Stories on connections, interests Things to address
PROVIDE RECOGNITION 2 Prompt and Sincere Personal In Human Terms Vision Focused Seven Times Satisfied donors tell (& ask) others –
Consider Giving Strategically Its More Than It Appears! Vote Of Confidence Signal of Desire for Involvement Opportunity For Leverage Networking Capacity
JUST REMEMBER… Big Gifts Beget Big Gifts – Hammocks Rule of 3s It takes same amount of work to ask for $50,000 or $5,000 NO Means NOT YET! Asking is fun, rewarding, and exciting Were reviewing your case. You still have a long way to go on that pledge.
Make a list of 5 prospects or under represented donors, rank order by L+I+A Pre-Plan with volunteers Match the top 3 with projects Develop Strategies Solicit Evaluate Your Homework
Required Reading And thanks to: Jerold Panas, for Asking Jeffrey Fox, for How to Be a Rainmaker This is the best class ever!