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5 Things to consider when Meeting with a Major Donor

Fund Raising
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June 17, 2022
(4 min.)
5 Things to consider when Meeting with a Major Donor

The meetings you set up with your donors help keep communication and trust strong. We can’t overstate the importance of having a branded donor meeting packages prepared in advance! Your meeting with your donor is the face of your brand. Planning out what you will give the donors at your meeting will also help you manage their expectations on what they will receive from you. This simple follow-through– an opportunity to establish goodwill– will set the tone for positive relationships with donors.

Give a gift. By offering the donor a branded present, you are cultivating hospitality. You are showing them you’re dedicating time and space to speak with them. You also indicating that they are the “host” of this meeting– you are entering into their world to lend your expertise. When you bring the host of a dinner party a gift, you are thanking them for including you in their experience and offering a small token to benefit them in return. What does a gift for a donor meeting look like? It can by a desk calendar, a mug, a T shirt … and if you have a product you are offering, you can provide a sample of that product. The most important thing is that your gift is branded with your logo, emblem, colors, and fonts so that they think of you every time they use it!

Printed copy. You should have talking points prepared in advance covering all the information you’d like your donors to be updated on. You should also share information that may be relevant to the donor’s giving personally. All information that you share in the meeting should be summarized in a printed branded document for the donor to take home to reflect upon and reference later.

Visual Elements. Additionally, you can use other creative devices and visual options to make your conversation with your donor impactful. You use an ipad for photo slides, videos, graphics, and other points of reference to pack your conversations with memorable, measurable impact statements. A specific way to show measurable, memorable impact is a tool called a “giving handle,” which looks like: “Your gift of x dollars provided ___ to  x families…” (It’s a multiplier that uses ratios to communicate the ramifications of a giving level.) This gives the donor a tangible sense of why their giving is effective and necessary. Furthermore, you can use QR codes for donors to connect on the spot to your website–a specific landing page, or a direct link to giving. Having this engaging digital option softens an “ask” for support by allowing the donor to look at the option on their own phone.

Segmented Information. Provide information in accordance with the donor’s level of commitment. Are they a legacy donor? Are they giving restricted gifts (funds tied to specific purposes)? Give these donors an inside look at what their gift is accomplishing that they understand is separate from general knowledge of your company. Reciprocity is essential in a healthy relationship– if donors are giving more, they want to feel they are receiving information in accordance with their generosity.

Follow up. After the meeting with your donor, send an email thanking them for their time with attached PDF’s of printed pieces for them to save and share. This is again an opportunity to personalize the interaction and provide donors with personalized resources. For example, if you are meeting with a representative from a church, your follow-up email can include slides or a thank you video to be shared during a service (in person or online).

You are the face of your brand! When you meet with donors, you are are expanding that branding out into an interpersonal experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to communicate the value you add to their story!  Do you have lapsed donors you’d like to re-engage through  a meeting? Stick with us– we can be your trusted partner to dig into the analytics to predict the most effective path forward!


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Aimee Gomez
Jacob Jones
Jolie Garcia
Lynlea Gaspar
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