By Dan Cosgrove
Director of Operations + Senior Consultant
I have often heard that donors are often very thankful to those that ask for their help. Perhaps that is counterintuitive but let’s think about this a bit.
Are we not all truly appreciative when we encounter a sales person that listens to our needs and is able to provide a terrific solution in a price point we find appropriate? It doesn’t matter if we are talking clothes, cars, groceries or charitable contributions, if a person smiles and is genuinely interested in our needs and can respond accordingly, we become a satisfied customer and, “Thankful”. Sales people get a bad rap as being aggressive, intrusive and pushing a product on us that is neither needed nor wanted. Sure there are some of those but turn it around and I am sure you can come up with countless examples where a good sales person has made a purchase a very pleasant experience.
People by nature are very generous and want to be asked for their help. I understand the fear in making a plea for a financial contribution of from a friend or business colleague. Perhaps, we should view our donors as anxiously awaiting or presentation. Believing in your agencies’ mission and communicating clearly how donations will improve the outcome of those served is critical in successful fundraising.
Quite often the donor just needs that little extra nudge. Now, I am not talking about wrestling someone to the ground to get a donation. I believe that is grounds for a criminal conviction. However, the donor may just want someone to look them in the eye and sincerely ask for their support. Honesty, humility, passion and clarity of purpose are a must. Sure, the answer may be “No”. However, you will be surprised how often you will not only hear a “Yes,” but a “Yes” followed by a “Thank you”.