Jim Eskin Transitions Donors & Charities to “Virtual Asking” is veteran fundraiser Jim Eskin’s take on how to pivot from traditional in person solicitations to virtual invitations using available technology. Here’s what the founder of Eskin Fundraising Training has to share:
For as long as we can remember, meeting with donors — especially when asking for major gifts — was best done face-to-face. But just like social distancing has changed everything else (such as Congress casting votes remotely and sports events being played without fans in the stands), fundraising is being forced to adapt and change.
Here’s good news: We’re seeing plenty of positive results from the virtual discovery, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of gifts, including major gifts. Some of our best practices remain absolutely the same, while necessity requires others to change. Here are 12 general tips to help you make the most of these opportunities.
(If we do a good job with cultivation, we seldom hear “no.” However, we might hear back, “not for that project,” “not for that amount,” and/or “not at this time.” Always seek to end the conversation on a positive note, even if it’s simply a request to meet again with a re-crafted proposal.)
Closing thought: The late Maya Angelou said that “people will forget what you said, people will even forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Whether in person or virtually, your job is to make your donor prospects feel like the most important people in the world to you and to give them an opportunity to do something truly special and make them feel great.
Jim Eskin Transitions Donors & Charities to “Virtual Asking” was first posted at Development Systems International
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