Those Awkward Silences...

Jan 18, 2018

Do you feel like you have to fill every single silence in a donor conversation? 

Do you end up saying weird things, like:

“Woo, it sure is sunny outside. This weather, right?!” or
“Whew, I sure have had a lot of coffee today. Do you like coffee? I really like coffee. A little too much actually. Is it hot in here?”

I’ve used the restroom in the middle of a few donor visits just to talk to myself in the mirror:

“Calm down, crazy. You’re scaring the nice person.”

When you talk to a stranger, there are always awkward moments.

A donor once told me that the person who came to visit him a few years ago was really great, but I seemed nervous.

Which, um, made me nervous!

If you have these moments, try a few things that have helped me (almost) get over it:

  • 80/20 - Listen 80% of the time. Talk 20%. If you’re an extrovert this will be tough, but for my fellow introverts, this can lift the glorious burden of talking and put the emphasis...
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From the Heart - Tips from a (REAL) Donor

Jan 09, 2018

I see you.

Not in a creepy way - but in a great way - like:

I know you.

You're my people.

This is how a donor wants to feel when they get a thank you from you.

How do I know?

I asked a real donor - Kathleen - an amazing, generous woman who gives a lot to a lot of unique causes.

She told me what keeps her giving and what doesn't.

What works:

  • Personal Stories - Kathleen's gifts are emotional and from the heart. She's motivated by individual, micro-level stories about a person (or an animal) who needs help.
  • Heartfelt Thanks - Handwritten notes from staff with just a quick word about how and when her gift was or will be used makes all the difference to Kathleen. She believes even big organizations can do this well, if "they write something that feels like they know you - like they see you."

  • A Real Difference - After she gives, Kathleen wants to feel confident that the organization will use her gift for the purpose they said they would. She doesn't get bogged down in the details or...
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