Adjust Your Mindset for the Big AskJan 20, 2022
Get ready for inspiring your donors for the big ask...
Making a big ask isn't about being fearless, it's about being sure-footed.
Fearlessness is all about you - it's a solo act. Fundraisers, though, are in business of relationships. You and the donor are climbing together to the mountain top. You're guiding the donor to where they will envision the transformation that this gift will make. And it's amazing the heights donors are prepared to go with and for your nonprofit.
Prepare, but don't over prepare.
You think that IF you know everything about the donor, IF you have all the project facts down cold, and IF you do everything just right, you'll secure the big gift. Recall that you're in a conversation, not a monologue. Stay loose and stay "story listening". (A relevant piece of advice: "Make your donors partners in your solicitation plans, not victims of them.")
If you go into the meeting thinking only about landing the gift, your focus is misplaced.
Landing the gift is about you, not the donor. Instead, re-orient your thinking to inviting the donor to join your nonprofit as a key change-maker and partner in transforming their community. This focus will get you out of the singular mindset of "land the gift" and will open more conversation pathways. And note: the tension in fundraising is that we are often measured by financial targets but our success comes from engaging donors in vision and problem-solving.
Take a moment for appreciation as you enter the meeting.
The donor is taking the meeting and is at a point of readiness. You've undertaken effective cultivation (and likely very good stewardship from the last gift). In fact, the donor is likely very grateful for the opportunity to be part of about this amazing transformation! Take a moment for silent appreciation and you're ready to begin.