Face-to-Face Solicitation


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The single best way to achieve the greatest gift possible--and deepen a donor's relationship with your organization--is through a face-to-face solicitation. This webinar will provide you with the background, skills and techniques to help you prepare for the encounter and conduct the conversation that will move a giver to the next stage in becoming a life-long donor.

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Face-to-Face Solicitation

  1. 1. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know AboutFace-to-Face Solicitation, But Were Afraid to Ask From Preparation to Closing the Gift David A. Mersky March 28, 2012A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  2. 2. INTEGRATED PLANNING Advising nonprofits in: www.synthesispartnership.com • Strategy • Planning (617) 969-1881 • Organizational Development info@synthesispartnership.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  3. 3. Affordable collaborative data management in the cloud.A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  4. 4. Today’s Speaker David A. Mersky Founder and Managing Director Mersky, Jaffe & AssociatesAssisting with chat questions: Hosting:April Hunt, Nonprofit Webinars Sam Frank, Synthesis PartnershipA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  5. 5. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Face-to-Face Solicitation, But Were Afraid to Ask: From Preparation to Closing the Gift David A. Mersky Founder and Managing Director Mersky, Jaffe & Associates March 28, 2012©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  6. 6. Stay tuned until the end… …for an offer that you cannot refuse.©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  7. 7. ©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  8. 8. The State of Philanthropy in America Today©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  9. 9. 2010 charitable givingTotal = $290.89 billion
  10. 10. Fear of Asking • It is legitimate • We have an in-bred fear of asking for anything. • Overlay fear of asking for anything with our cultural neurosis about money©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  11. 11. Asking • Keys to successful, terror-free asking • Is this person ready to be asked? • Have we gotten to know this person enough so that it would feel natural to ask them to make a financial contribution to our agency now? • Would asking this person now be nothing more than nudging the inevitable? • If it is too soon to ask, then wait • Go back, re-listen, re-involve, re-cultivate©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  12. 12. Abundance-Based Asking • People would rather say yes than no. • Your job as a solicitor is to ask people for that to which they can naturally say yes. • People can only contribute freely what they ―have‖ in abundance. • Discover what people have in abundance –ask only for that. • Not looking for sacrificial donors rather to provide positive experience of giving. • PATIENCE: donor eagerly anticipates contact as you deepen relationship further before asking or asking again©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  13. 13. Donor Readiness • Answers your phone calls • Initiates contacts with you • Shares passion with others and recruits • Hangs around longer • Volunteers more • Makes gifts-in-kind • Thinks of self as member of the ―family‖ • Gives advice©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
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  15. 15. Preparing for Each Ask 1. Exactly who will be asked? • Spouse/Partner • Children and/or parents • Business partners – Respect every one’s vote©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  16. 16. Preparing for Each Ask 2. Who will do the asking? • One person or more than one? • People most appropriate for particular donor? • Another board member to enhance the team? • Is the asker too close to the donor? • Who is donor’s favorite person? • By whom would donor be most flattered? • To whom could this person not say no?©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  17. 17. Preparing for Each Ask 3. Where will the Ask take place? • Your place or theirs? • At a restaurant or office? • Are you prepared for it to happen spontaneously?©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  18. 18. Preparing for Each Ask 4. Exactly what will be asked for? • Can be multiple components: – Undertake a leadership role – Refer others – Solicit others – Leadership gift – Multi-Year commitment for ―units of program‖ • Tells you are looking for longer-term relationship • You value talent and time, not just treasure©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  19. 19. Preparing for Each Ask 5. What is the bottom-line gift you seek? • Have a range of asks • Start with biggest to bottom line • Include items other than money©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  20. 20. Preparing for Each Ask 6. What makes you think this person is ready to be asked now? • Recent cues? • Have you given donor a ―heads-up?‖ • Put yourself in donor’s shoes • Will donor feel comfortable/receptive to ask now?©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  21. 21. Preparing for Each Ask 7. In making this ―Ask,‖ list your biggest • Concerns • Fears • Anxieties • Reasons for procrastinating©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  22. 22. Preparing for Each Ask 8. Does the person have an abundance of that for which you are asking? • Donors want to say yes • Don’t embarrass them • Do your homework©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  23. 23. Preparing for Each Ask 9. What is person’s self-interest in saying yes? How good would they feel saying yes? • Or, how sorry will they feel saying no? • What is their emotional connection?©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  24. 24. Preparing for Each Ask 10. What might strengthen this ―Ask?‖ • What could you add that would make saying no nearly impossible? • A different asker? • A memorial gift? • A leadership gift? • A challenge or matching gift? • More years to spread out the payment? • A particular type of recognition?©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  25. 25. Preparing for Each Ask 11. How would this person most like to be recognized? • Donors will rarely bring up recognition • You must weave it into the ask • ―All donors at this level…‖ – Receptions – Meetings with speakers – The ―CEO’s Table‖ – ―Printed‖ acknowledgement • Provide options for recognition©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  26. 26. Preparing for Each Ask 12. How can person invite others to participate? • Once donor says yes, it is only natural to share enthusiasm • Mention opportunities to engage others©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  27. 27. Preparing for Each Ask 13. What would be possible for your agency if the person says yes? • Spend time thinking through this question – What would it mean for your agency? – What would it mean for the donor?©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  28. 28. Preparing for Each Ask 14. What other questions are still unanswered? • Answers to questions beget more questions • Be prepared for every conceivable eventuality©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  29. 29. Preparing for Each Ask 15. Finally, role play the ask with another • Provide background on person to be asked • Tell them some of your biggest fears • Practice, Practice, Practice©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  30. 30. Be Authentic • Once you have prepared, put it all aside. • Go to Ask with different agenda. • How related and connected can you become? • Listen for every cue. • Focus on what the donor says right now not on what you should say next. The key to a successful Ask is in your being a real human being—not a robot with a script. Be a regular person who truly cares about this donor and your agency. The more authentic you can be, the better.©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  31. 31. ©2011 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  32. 32. Making a Face-to-Face Appointment • Prepare for the call to make the appointment • Clarify your objectives • who, what, when, where, why and how • Write a script • Have your calendar ready • Put a smile in your voice • Be gently persistent©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  33. 33. Face-to-Face—Heart-to-Heart • Break the Ice • Turn the conversation to the organization • Ask open-ended questions about the prospect’s experiences/feelings about the organization • LISTEN—and remember what you hear • Reinvent the case to relate to the prospect’s hopes, wishes and concerns • Explain what’s happening now at the organization • Share why you made your own commitment©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  34. 34. The Trial Close • Make a trial close, • DIRECT--―Would you consider strengthening our agency by joining me with a gift of (the $ rated amount)? • INDIRECT--―Only you know the right amount for your family. But our campaign will only be successful if everyone participates. I am hoping that you will consider a pledge in the XXXX category with a gift between $XX,XXX and $XX,XXX. • BE SILENT—wait patiently for a response©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  35. 35. Question List an objection that you have heard when you have made an “ask.” Please type your response into the question box©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  36. 36. Managing Objections • Be prepared to – Clarify – Acknowledge – Resume – Close • Ask more than once • Say nothing each time after you ask©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  37. 37. Strategies for Managing Objections • Do not become argumentative • After acknowledging and responding to each objection, close again • Restate the gift in other terms—an annual, quarterly or monthly amount • Wait quietly for a response—ready for the next objection or a commitment©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  38. 38. Wrapping Up and Following Up • Always end a meeting with agreement • If a final gift decision, restate the gift • Say thank you and congratulate the donors • Inquire how the donors want their gift recognized—or do they prefer anonymity©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  39. 39. Wrapping Up and Following Up • Follow-up with your personal thank you note whether the gift is closed or not – Thank for gift – Thank for time invested • Report in to the campaign management team – Email/call the manager who will inform the rest of the team – President’s personal acknowledgment letter – Agency CEO’s institutional acknowledgment and transmittal of pledge agreement, if appropriate©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
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  41. 41. The Ask: Some Closing Thoughts • Ask those who already know and love your agency • Ask when you know they have that for which you are asking • Ask when you know that they are emotionally connected©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  42. 42. The Ask: Some Closing Thoughts • The ―Ask‖ is an intimate occasion • No two are ever the same • First time is like the first dance with one you hope will be a lifelong dance partner One person leads The Donor • Ask only when they are ready • Asking=nudging the inevitable©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  43. 43. The Ask: Some Closing Thoughts If prospect says no, then you • Thank them and ask if there are other ways they would like to be involved • Then, figure out how to ask again in the way and for what they want to be asked • Finally, ask again—or have the perfect person ask—so they say yes and feel great about it.©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  44. 44. The Ask: Some Closing Thoughts • If prospect says yes, but doesn’t feel great…it is not a ―win.‖ • You do not need contribution that badly. • You want donors to feel so good about giving that • It is a source of supreme personal pleasure • They have no need for others to know they gave©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  45. 45. Donors Introduce Others• The last step in the cycle • Donors talk with their friends • Introduce their friends to your agency• Natural occurrence • Donors feel good about their gift • Happy to hear from you • Opportunity to deepen your relationship©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  46. 46. First Contact After the Gift • Let donors know how excited you are to receive gift • Let them know right away • A telephone call within three days of first gift—basic follow-up call script • Thank you • We value your support and input • What interests you? Do you have any advice? Is there any other way you would like to become involved? • LISTEN • Any one you might invite to learn what we are doing?©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  47. 47. Engage Donors to Grow the Circle• Ask donors to host an event• Trust you to do for their friends and family what you did with them.• Treat friends with utmost care and respect• Make no assumptions• The dream—each referral becomes a lifelong donor with an ever-widening circle• The circle grows exponentially©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  48. 48. To receive a free, 12 page… Manual entitled EVERYTHING THAT YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT FACE-TO- FACE FUNDRAISING, BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASKSend an email to david@merskyjaffe.com©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  49. 49. Mersky, Jaffe & Associates Financial and Human Resource Development Solutions for Nonprofits 800.361.8689 413.556.1074 fax www.merskyjaffe.com OFFICES IN BOSTON AND NEW YORK©2012 Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
  50. 50. Find listings for our current season of webinars and register at: NonprofitWebinars.comA Service Of: Sponsored by: