If saying thank you is the only reason for a requested meeting with your major donor, please save your breath and their time. In most cases, their time is too valuable to meet just to hear thank you.
Do they value your appreciation of their gift? You bet they do. Donors leave if they don’t feel that their gift is relevant or appreciated! However, it’s not worth the time a meeting takes just to hear you say thank you. Instead, use the time together for a more mutually productive purpose.
Ask Major Donors for Their Advice
An excellent reason to meet with a major donor is to ask for their advice about a project the ministry is seriously considering. You may have to hold back on revealing confidential information. However, you can usually share the general scope of an idea.
Try to relate your questions to specific expertise your donor understands well. Is the donor an architect, software wiz, real estate broker, banker, company president, marketing VP? Match your request for advice to their expertise.
How to Secure a Major Donor Meeting
Here are four ideas for how to secure a major donor meeting:
Wisdom on Critical Decisions:
Mr. Andrews, we really value your support and interest in “XYZ Ministry”. You are one of the people who sees how [insert what you do here]. However, here’s one of our on-going needs: (basics of the need). As a successful businessman/woman here in (your city) God has gifted you to bring wise counsel and ideas to bear at your own company. I wonder if He might also have put you in our path so you could share some of that insight and wisdom with us. If you would be willing to share 30 or 40 minutes of your time, I’d like to set up a meeting with you to discuss a few of our upcoming critical decisions. Would that be all right with you?
Unique Perspective on Exciting Ideas:
Mr. Green, our executive team has been tossing around a couple of exciting ideas. I want to bounce them off of you to see if you believe they’re in keeping with how you perceive our organization and where you see that it needs to be headed. You support what we do so you have a unique perspective that will really help us. Oh, and I promise to keep the meeting to 20 minutes or less.
Research for a New Project:
Mrs. Jacobson, we’re thinking about launching an interesting new project but I need to do research with some of our friends before we move forward. I especially want to pick your brain so I can gather feedback from someone who supports our mission before presenting recommendations to the executive team to review. Could you give me about 24 minutes to share the basic plan in-person sometime next week?
Help Getting Community On Board:
Thank you again for taking my call, Ms. Crawford. Let me get right to the point—we are looking at a couple of new initiatives for the mission. Since you’re a long-time supporter of our ministry I’d like to run them past you. You could help me understand if the community would get behind the idea and how we might make it a reality. I don’t need more than about 28 minutes of your time – and it would be very valuable to me to go over this in person with you.
Please take some time to review these sample scripts and re-write them to make it your own. Trying to use my wording will only make your call, or voicemail message, sound stilted and scripted. When you use your own words it will come across as authentic, friendly, and warm.
Let’s talk more about how you can put into action these 4 Ideas for How to Secure a Major Donor Meeting. Contact us here >>