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it’s just too easy... to say “no!”

Capital Campaign Strategy

Last week Paul wrote in his blog about “no” sometimes means “not yet.” It got me thinking.  “No” is easier to say than “yes.” Much easier.

Try this: Next time you call someone don’t ask, “Is this a good time?” Instead, try reversing it.  Ask, “Is this a bad time?”  Watch how fast the other person says “No.” We are conditioned to say “no.”

Recently, a client of ours had a chance to move past “no.”  In the beginning stages of a large capital campaign strategy, the Development Director (DD) received a “no” from a solicitation meeting.  The prospect preempted the ask and stated that he would not be able to contribute due to limited resources. This prospect has wealth and is a known presence in the community. But as we always say, “We are not to judge, but to ask……for something.” So the DD asked not for money, but for the prospect to take a tour of the building that was the main component of this capital campaign strategy.

The prospect accepted and took a tour. After feeling a bit emotional during the tour, he pledged a major gift.

That wasn’t all!  He then gave the DD over two dozen names and MOBILE numbers of other prospects who he thought should hear about this project. Only eight names were on our radar, the rest were new prospects.

What if the DD took “NO” as the final answer? What would you have done?



Written by:

John J. Corcoran

President & CEO


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