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you would certainly place logs. . . in the fireplace first. . .

You can’t go to the fire place and say. . .”give me heat and I’ll give you wood.”

But how many of you have asked a donor prospect for a major gift donation, and received a cold response, only to realize that you didn’t bring any “wood” prior to the meeting? Or maybe you didn’t even realize it!

When you want a prospect to provide you with something, such as a major gift donation or accepting a board or committee position, you need to make sure that you have provided the necessary spark to create warmth and connection between you and your donor prospect.

Have you found out enough about them to become a resource? Perhaps at your earlier meetings you could have listened to their needs. They need a physician for themselves or their family, a connection for their business, a restaurant recommendation, etc. Have you answered ALL their questions about your organization in a timely manner?

If they do not feel comfortable to ask questions up front, those same questions will surface at the time of the “ask” and the entire focus will change.

Seems unrelated to your agenda? No, that’s the issue. The donor needs to know that you brought something to the relationship. The bigger your need, the more warmth the donor prospect seeks.

If done properly, your donor prospect will have enough fuel from you that the warmth will be most sustainable.



Written by John J. Corcoran

President and CEO

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