[Quick Tip] The #1 donor engagement mistake

quick tips

In this series, I’m sharing tips that are quick for you to read, simple to implement, and - most importantly - when you use them consistently, they’re effective ways to grow your major gift fundraising.

These tips are all inspired by you, and your response to my recent question:

What’s the #1 challenge you are facing when it comes to your major gift fundraising? 

Here’s just a few of the challenges I heard from you:

“Getting major donors’ attention and interest.”

“Convincing our current donors our organization is worth continuing to donate to.”

“Donor unwillingness to increase giving.”

Today, I want to share a big mistake I see a lot of nonprofits making - and it’s actually feeding into these challenges you’re identifying, and getting in the way of your major gift growth.

I call it the Firehose Effect. 

This is when your engagement and communications with donors are focused entirely on your organization - your achievements, your leadership, programs, stats, numbers, awards…

All this acts like an “information firehose” we aim at the donor, in the hopes of convincing them of the value of supporting your cause.

And what do firehoses do? Well one thing’s for sure, they definitely don’t draw the donor closer to your important work…

If you’re going to be truly successful at major gifts, your donor must be an active participant in these conversations with you.

Because being the target of a blast of information is convincing no one.

Cultivate your curiosity, and think about questions you can ask to start a conversation, get your donor engaged more meaningfully in your work.

Now is the time to ask for a donor’s impressions of something, run an idea by them, or find out what they hope to achieve with their giving.

If you want to be more effective in your major donor meetings, think about how you can take a greater leadership role in guiding your conversations. 

Map out a plan for the meeting, and start thinking strategically about what you’d like to achieve with this valuable time together.

If you truly want to get the full value of this tip, before you go, make a decision:

What’s one thing you want to do to implement this idea in your fundraising in the coming week? Go and time block it into your calendar right now!

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