One of our clients recently emailed us a simple question that inspired a bigger response: "I just had someone ask for a link [to give online], do I still need to meet with them?”
If your end game is to gain a little bit of money right now, then no. Save your time.
If your end game is a generous, long-term partnership, then YES.(Hint: your end game should always be a long-term partnership!)
Meeting with your donors (or potential donors) is the best way to share about your ministry because the most effective way to invite someone to partner with your vision is always going to be through a face to face conversation.
Before you meet with a potential donor, you need to do your research. Find out what your funding partner’s personal interests are and where their interests intersect with your vision and work. Answering those questions will prepare you to tell a compelling story that will result in a sustained financial partnership, benefiting both you and the donor.
Face to face meetings help your donors see that the desired partnership is not about the money and it's not about you. It gives you the chance to help them see exactly what they're really a part of and it communicates that their partnership is worth your time.
These meetings give you the opportunity to share what partnership is really about: What God is doing through the ministry and the impact you can havetogether.
Through decades of working in fundraising we have found that people rarely take the time to ask the little (significant) questions that don't seem as important unless they're with you in person. These meetings (and questions) are crucial to creating deep, long-lasting partnerships that result in ongoing funding for your ministry.
So, make the time, meet with your donors, connect them to the impact, and give them space to get all those questions answered so they are 100% excited about joining the ministry!
Choosing the right setting for your face-to-face meetings is crucial to gaining the partnerships and funding you need. To find out more about where you should meet your potential donors, check out Chapter 3 of our e-book,How to Get a Generous Response (almost) Every Time You Ask: The Place.