Five I’s – Identify, Inform, Involve, Invest, and Impact. These five simple words guide my work with nonprofits. This is true whether we are engaged in a development audit, a capital campaign, or planning a board training.
Typically when talking about impact we focus on telling donors stories about the impact of a gift on those who benefit. Three things prompted me to flip the focus to the impact of our work on donors:
3. Jennifer Harris’ article about her first authentic ask (Giving Tomorrow, Issue 9, plannedgiving.com).
What do these seemingly disparate items have in common? They speak to a reality:
Fundraisers impact the lives of donors.
Many of those minutes are taken up by the day-to-day –working, sleeping, and eating. Others are taking care of an elderly parent, are getting divorced, or may be planning a memorial service for a family member. In these cases, minutes suddenly seem more precious than ever and fly by at a very fast clip!
When you meet with a donor you are using up their minutes! This time is precious because it can’t be reclaimed – that time is a gift!! (Some would disagree but I always said thank you to a donor for taking the time to meet with me).
1. As you prepare for a donor visit do you consider the sort of impact that the donor hopes to have?
2. Have you ever asked a donor, as Ron suggests in his book, what THEY hope to see transpire as a result of making a gift?
Today I invite you to flip the focus. If you can’t answer the above questions schedule some visits.
1. Let the donor know that you are not coming to ask for a gift but to learn about them.
2. Say that you hope to learn why the donor chose to support you.
3. Ask what they hope to see transpire as a result of their current or a future gift.
Finally, thank the donor for giving of her time because it is one of the most precious gifts of all.