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8 things to know before the “ask”

by The NonProfit Times - August 26, 2013

Any lawyer will say not to ask a question in court without already knowing the answer. That approach can sometimes be helpful for fundraisers as well.

During Fundraising Day in New York 2013, sponsored by the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), representatives of The Osborne Group Inc., said that asking major gifts prospects questions about their lives and their families can be helpful in establishing rapport.

They cautioned however that sometimes having at least a little information about the answers could be helpful. These questions are:

  • What are the ages, names of your children? Grandchildren?  Where do they live?
  • Do you get to see your children often?  Grandchildren?
  • Have you had a chance to take some time off this year?  If so, where did you go?  If not, what would you like to do?
  • Do you enjoy entertaining in your home?
  • How’s business? How is this economy affecting you? Your business?
  • How does the economy (your business situation) affect your philanthropic decisions?
  • What a beautiful piece of artwork, do you enjoy collecting?
  • In what ways do your personal interests impact your volunteer activities, philanthropic investments?

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