Second in a Series: How to Identify Donor Passions and Interests
It’s always good to ask the “why” question in a donor relationship.
“Why are you interested in that?” Or, “what caused your interest in that?”
The reason this is so important is that you want to identify the driver of the passion or interest. There’s always something deeper behind the motivation to give, and it’s good to find out (in a caring and sensitive way) what that is.
A passion and interest driver could be most anything. Look at this list:

Jeff and I and our team have scores of stories that illustrate this. Many of them are included in the list above.
The point is this: there’s a story behind every passion or interest, and that story is often very delicate, very private, and often dramatic and touching. (Tweet it!)
If a donor says, in answer to your why question: “There really isn’t anything. I just love what you do.” It’s because they’re either not aware of the deeper driver, or they’re not comfortable talking about it yet. It’s most often the latter reason – they’re not in a place of comfort with you to discuss something that personal.
That means you have to add that item to your “to-do” list for that donor. You eventually need to find out the answer to the why. Take your time doing this and don’t get aggressive about it. It’s very delicate. I’ll talk about how to do that in my next post in this series.
For now, just file it away that every donor has a passion or an interest, and there’s a driver behind it. For you to serve the donor in their quest to satisfy those passions and interests, you must know this information.