When you're fundraising, getting a "Yes!" to your question, "Will you join my team by giving to make this ministry a reality?" feels like a huge win. But it's not the end of the conversation. Asking what amount will be committed is the next step.
Why is asking for an amount helpful?
Oftentimes your organization's database could be weeks behind on entering information, this makes it essential to track your donor information yourself. It's also possible to miss a clerical error. Someone could have meant to give $100 a month and accidentally entered only $10 a month. That's a big difference! And if you're not tracking your own donor commitments, you'll miss out on that donor doing all they had planned to do to be a part of the mission.
Continue the conversation that began when they said yes.
In the conversation, when you get a yes, this is the best time to confirm as many details as possible. You'll likely not have another dedicated time to talk face to face about your mission for months or longer.
When someone commits to financial partnership, the conversation isn't quite over. You still need to reach the finish line.
It's your job to lead them through the rest of the process. This could include asking some simple clarifying questions in a gentle conversation. During your meeting, simply ask if you can confirm some details before you leave that will be helpful for you to move forward. These people just said yes to being on your team! They certainly won't mind you asking for a few details about what that yes means.
It's natural to follow up a commitment by asking what method they plan to use to give. For example, how would you like to give? Online or mail? Do you need help getting it set up?
If you're staring down an upcoming deadline, now is a good time to let them know that. They may not know about your deadline yet, and may not have thought about a start date for their giving. So, be sure to ask, when would you like to start giving?
As the conversation continues, ask what amount they're planning to commit. Even if they don't know yet, ask anyway. And if they don't know, it's okay, just ask for permission to follow up within a few days of your current meeting. In that phone call, gently ask if they've had a chance to make a decision. Use kind, relational words, allowing your new partnership to continue building.
Drew Foote, Fundraising Coach
Some call me eccentric, some call me passionate, and some call me just plain weird. I love getting to hear others' stories, experiencing real connection with others, and seeing what drives them really fascinates me. I am thrilled to be a coach for Tailored Fundraising Solutions. When I'm not at my computer, I'll most likely be playing on my guitar or training at a local martial arts dojo!