There are 2 primary components that lead to effectively inviting people to engage more deeply.
First, we have to have clarity in what we want them to do. What, specifically, are we asking of them?
Give for the first time? Attend an event? Be a member of the governing board? Increase their giving to a certain level? Participate in a focus group? Serve on a an advisory council? Provide volunteer leadership to a campaign? Speak publicly? Open the door to a new prospective donor?
Second, we must implement planful strategy focused on how best to invite them. How, specifically, are we inviting them?
A personal visit or interaction from a gift officer, the vice president, or the CEO? Engaging a ‘natural partner,’ like a board member or other volunteer with influence? A letter of invitation with a personal outreach follow-up?
When inviting others, many advancement folks have an unpolished understanding of the value of the first component and are downright inattentive to the importance of the second.
The next time you are preparing to invite someone to become more engaged, simply write down your responses to the following questions:
- What questions might they have about what we are asking them to do and how would I provide a compelling response to each?
- Knowing the individual we are inviting, what approach could we use that would most inspire and encourage their affirming response?
The more time we spend responding to these questions, the more likely our invitations are well received.
This article was originally posted on Jason’s Blog in December 2023. To read more, visit www.jasonmcneal.com.