After multiple phone calls, voicemail messages, and a few emails over 3 months, you finally secured an in-person meeting with the prospective major donor
. This is your first, and maybe your only shot at meeting with them. How do you make the most of this opportunity?
6 Things to Do in Your Next Major Donor Meeting
- Thank Them for Their Support
Don’t make this the main reason for your visit, but weave your appreciation for them and their gift throughout your visit with them. Be specific—know what they’ve given (recently and total), when, for how long, and what the typical asks were that they responded to. If possible, also express the appreciation of the ultimate recipient of your ministry’s efforts. Who, personally, did their gift impact? How impactful would it be if you brought an actual thank you note from that individual?
- Demonstrate Their Importance to The Success of Your Ministry’s Mission and Vision
Share a story of a changed life, that was the direct result of their financial support. Don’t forget to include how their caring and prayers for your ministry also encourages you and others on your team to carry on in the ministry work you provide.
- Discover What About Your Ministry the Donor Is Passionate About
What is it that you do that is meaningful to them? Why does it impact them in the way that it does? Ask them to elaborate on their own story, as it relates to your ministry, the work that you provide or the people whose lives are impacted.
- Cast A Vision for Them About Where/How the Ministry Needs, or Is Poised, to Grow
Major donors like to be a part of a ministry that has a big vision. One that’s not only impacting people, the city, and the community now, but one that has even bigger, bolder plans for the future. Those who can make 6-figure gifts often like to hear that the vision can only be realized by their very generous donation.
- Find Out Something Personal About Them
This is your opportunity to deepen your relationship with this donor. Make sure you spend some time exploring and discussing a hobby or pastime they enjoy. Learn their kids and/or grandkids names and ages. How did they meet their spouse? When did they come to have a personal relationship with Jesus? Where did they grow up? These are the kinds of things that friends share with friends.
- Confirm Your Information About Them Is Accurate
This includes their address, correct name spellings, their formal and preferred nick names. Ask for birth and anniversary dates. Before you meet with them print out a data sheet on them and highlight the missing information so you don’t forget to ask. Make sure you print out any suspected family member information so you can confirm those connections as well.
Securing an in-person meeting with a major donor can not only be difficult, it may be a very long time before you get another opportunity to be face-to-face with them. Make the most of this, and every subsequent meeting. Always go into a meeting with a carefully planned set of goals, actions and desired outcomes.
Here’s some additional advice for ensuring a successful outcome to your in-person donor meetings. Check out my blog: Stop Sabatoging Your Major Donor Meetings >>