don't say itYou’re connecting with your major or planned gift donor for the first time.
And you’ve planned to say a lot of things.
But there’s one thing you do NOT want to say. You don’t want to say anything about money.
Because money is the result of your helping the donor do what they want to do. It’s not the objective. And when you start with the money, you objectify the donor down into a transaction, a source of cash, an economic unit. (Tweet it!)
That’s going to go nowhere very fast, as your money-words scratch and bruise that donor’s heart and do irreparable damage to your relationship.
Plus, is the money the most important thing? Ask yourself that question. It feels like it, I know. Your manager or authority figure may have told you (as we’ve heard many times): “You must ask every time you meet with the donor on your caseload!”
That’s not true.
Your first thing to say (other than thanking the donor for what they’ve already done, and reporting on the impact of their giving) is to ask what the donor is interested in, or why they give to a particular program.
That’s what you want to know. Because everything you can find out about that topic helps you learn the main driver to the donor’s giving. That’s what the donor cares about.
So, don’t start with the money. Start with how the donor views their world and what they care about. That’s what really matters.