When flying internationally, we will often experience something called jet lag. Extreme tiredness or exhaustion is common when crossing back and forth between multiple time zones. You end up feeling disoriented, out of sorts, and time can seem to pass by very slowly.
The same thing can happen in fundraising. We call this: donor lag.
Quite often, when fundraising, you'll meet with people who seem interested in giving to your ministry or cause—but they take forever before getting back with you about their financial decision.
So, you’re stuck, waiting, unsure of how to approach them.
We’ve come up with 2 simple steps any fundraiser can use to prevent donor lag from happening to you (or your donors) ever again.
First, make the invitation to partner very clear. When meeting with a friend, family member, or acquaintance, always be clear in your invitation to partner with you. A clear invitation always includes the following:
Tie the invitation to partner to the impact your ministry is making.
Tell them how their giving is going to make a difference!
Ask for a specific amount. Asking for a specific amount from your potential donor might seem pushy, but we have found that over 90% of people prefer to be asked for a specified number. And, in almost all cases, asking for a specific amount is going to generate the most authentic response from your donor. By directly asking, "Would you be willing to partner at this level?" you are clearly stating a financial need that they can respond to with a yes or no answer.
Second, be sure to say thank you and immediately plan the follow-up.
After you make your invitation to partner, they may respond, "Yes, we will join your team, but we need time to think about the amount.”
Thank them for their decision, and then say this: "Would it be alright with you if I text you tomorrow or the next day to see what you've decided? This would help me with my planning purposes, and let my organization know about your decision to partner with us."
This simple response will save you hours of multiple phone calls trying to follow-up with numerous partners, and just like a first-class ticket—you and your donors will be enjoying your new partnership—donor lag free.
Still unsure of how to get your donors to respond? Work with one of our professional fundraising coaches today.