How do they do it? How do people make requests for money that reap results? Apparently, someone knows.
In fact, at the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Fundraising Conference, Anne T. Melvin, director of training and education at Harvard University, said there are seven secrets of successful solicitations, and she was willing to share them.
* Hope. Confidence is the enemy of fear, fear that the organization or soliciting individual is not at the center of the prospect’s universe.
* Asking is like painting. It’s all about the prep work. Goals: is it the gift? Then why let the conversation wander?
* Starting with a strong foundation. Get the right chair/leader. Frame the solicitation of this person as a way to help the prospect.
* Urgency. Limited time opportunity for a gift. If the gift doesn’t come, then X happens.
* Leverage. What is the leverage: mission, class or community leader, project, tax event, life change, scarcity?
* Get out the toolbox. Don’t ask for money, ask for assets.
* Respond effectively to resistance. Ask questions. Identify the prospects PITA concerns: Is it the Project? Is it the Institution? Is it the Timing? Is it the Amount? Reframe the discussion. Pivot to the future.