. . . seeks to learn more about your institution’s strategic plan.
. . . asks if a 5-year pledge schedule is acceptable.
. . . expects to sign a pledge document or gift agreement.
. . . asks how many other donors are giving at the level they are.
. . . asks how much longer you anticipate the Quiet Phase of the campaign lasting.
. . . shares with you how important their gift is to them.
. . . compliments you on the way in which you invited their support.
Simply put, the intelligent donor is an experienced donor. She already understands the process and your role as an advancement professional. The intelligent donor (which, of course, is not the same as “the donor who happens to be intelligent“) is easier to engage through the gift giving process because it is not a new process for her – she has already done it before. Therefore, she already understands what meaningful gift giving looks and feels like.
The next time a Board member, an administrator, or even another advancement colleague says that you shouldn’t attempt to cultivate a particular major donor prospect because said prospect is already a significant giver to the XYZ organization, the response should be, “that’s exactly why we should want to engage him!”
Far easier, gratifying, and productive to dance with a new partner who already has taken lessons, learned good rhythm, and enjoys it.
Originally posted February 2022 on www.jasonmcneal.com