First visits with potential donors are awkward.
You're meeting a stranger.
They're meeting you.
This can lead to all kinds of nervousness...
...and that voice in your head telling you you need to sound smart, be likeable, say all the right things AND ask for money...
This month, in Fundraisers' Monthly, we're talking all about the Discovery Visit:
How can you show up to your next discovery visit calm and confident?
Here are the 4 keys to being your best in every conversation:
1. Be Authentic. - Be You. This sounds obvious and easy, but it isn't. I've walked into the offices of plenty of super-successful CEO's, lawyers, hedge fund managers, museum curators and filmmakers feeling inadequate. That voice in my head told me I wasn't smart enough or successful enough to be talking to those people.
If you wish more donors would respond to your emails, we are here for you!
This is tip #2 to write an email to get more visits.
If you missed the first tip - Look for the Hook - you can find it here.
Think about this when you write your next email:
Connect vs. Convince: It can be so easy to fall into the trap of including links, facts, figures and stats in the hope of educating someone into meeting with you.
But, what are the chances someone will actually click on those links?
Will they actually read an attached one-pager or brochure?
If they do click on a link, will they come back to your email and actually respond?
For years, as a higher-ed fundraiser, I wrote email novels.
I included quotes from faculty, links to student stories and bulleted "fun facts" about new programs.
I labored over those emails. The results? 1 visit for every 10 emails.
When I finally realized that...um, I would never respond to one of my own damn emails - why would anyone else?
I refocused with the goal...
How did anyone raise any money before email?
It's like traveling before Google Maps!
But, email can also be infuriating.
Have you ever spent hours pouring over just the right words, re-reading your email a thousand times, checking your grammar and punctuation only to get absolutely no response?
Have you ever gotten so few replies that you actually started to wonder if there was something wrong with your computer? (I've so done this. I've emailed a friend just to make sure my email was working. It sucks so much when you realize it IS working, people are just ignoring you!)
Have you ever just given up and started sending "form" emails? You know, where you just change the name at the beginning and send out a zillion messages hoping for just a few replies?
You are not alone!
Getting the visit is the hardest thing about fundraising.
Spam filters and massively busy people with massively full inboxes don't make our jobs any easier.
In our next few posts, we'll walk through the steps to...