Major Donors, “Listen Your Way To Money” is Jim Eskin’s take on how you can help a donor accomplish their personal goals by investing in your mission. Here’s this veteran fundraiser has to share:
Most people outside of the profession think fundraisers need to be very adept at the art of speaking, glib and persuasive. Make no mistake about it, successful fundraisers need to be excellent communicators — both orally and in writing.
But I place the art of active listening at the very top of the fundraiser’s must-have skill set. This will empower them to earn being liked, known and most importantly, trusted by the donor prospect.
In a nutshell, if we can hold enough quality conversations with donor prospects, they will tell us how much, when and for what purpose they will share the precious gifts of time and money.
Laura Fredricks, Founder of the Expert on the ASK, suggests this formula for meetings: the donor speaks 75% of the time, while the fundraiser speaks 25% of the time.
Among other things, this puts a huge premium on the finite time fundraisers have to speak.
Listening demonstrates that we value and are genuinely interested in what the other party is thinking. What is active listening? Most people confuse passive hearing with listening to someone. There is a big difference, and donors can quickly and thoroughly sense it.
Based on hundreds of meetings and solicitations with donor prospects, here are my primary 10 recommendations on being an effective active listener.
Jim Eskin’s consulting practice Eskin Fundraising Training builds on the success of his more than 150 fundraising workshops and webinars and provides the training, coaching and support services that non-profits need to compete for and secure private gifts. He has authored 100 guest columns that have appeared in daily newspapers, business journals and blogs across the country. He publishes Stratagems, a monthly e-newsletter exploring timely issues and trends in philanthropy. Sign up here for a free subscription. He is author of 10 Simple Fundraising Lessons, which can be purchased here.
Major Donors, “Listen Your Way To Money” – Jim Eskin was first posted at Major Gifts Ramp-Up.
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