How to have better donor meetings

Have you ever left a donor meeting thinking, “what just happened?”

Maybe you had a nice lunch, caught up on what the kids and grandkids were up to, heard about their latest travel adventures, and gave them a little update on the program they support. 

And the next thing you know, you’re picking up the tab, and saying your goodbyes. 

There’s nothing wrong with small talk, or program updates – done well, those can both be important elements in a donor meeting.

But here’s the problem:

If you are having perfectly pleasant meetings with your donors that are NOT translating into the major gift growth you are hoping for… 

Chances are you’re missing an important step.

I learned this the hard way when I was first starting out! 

Here’s the realization I had that took my meetings to the next level:

As a fundraiser, I needed to step into a leadership role in my donor meetings. 

It’s a small shift, but a crucial one!

What does taking a leadership role in our donor meetings look like? 

It starts with planning ahead, and thinking strategically about our time with donors. 

It means skillfully guiding our meetings, asking thoughtful questions.

And it’s actively leading our conversations to a logical, mutually beneficial next step. 

Now I want to hear from you: are you and your team stepping into a leadership role in your donor meetings and conversations? If not, what are some of the challenges you face in making that shift?

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