My friend and client, Jessica Dean of the Heritage Foundation, recently presented a primer for her colleagues on how to get the appointment. I asked her if I could share it with you here because, while we think we know this through intuition and experience, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded from time to time.She offered these five great suggestions for moving the appointment forward. Of course, each of us has our own style and Jessica allowed for that.1. Be persistent and tenacious. These are the hallmarks of getting close. Like many of us, she is dealing with some high net worth people who care about her cause, but they are very busy. Don’t give up and stay at it.2. Look for natural partners. Who are other members of the organization that could be connections to the person you are trying to get the appointment with. Are they business associates, went to the same school, had children in the same schools. Who could help you get the appointment? Who would be willing to call and say, “Hey, my friend Jessica is trying to reach you, I would really appreciate your taking her call.”3. Be flexible in your timing. If you really want to meet this person you have to be willing to arrange your own schedule. Be prepared to be where you need to be.4. Do your homework. Don’t work so hard to get the appointment, then fall on your face because you have not done your homework. Know as much as you can about this person and be prepared to engage them in a meaningful conversation. And then be curious about who they are and what they care about. In other words, show you know who they are and you appreciate their taking time to visit with you, but be quiet and listen.5. Focus. If you have a large geographical area to cover, segment your audience and message. For a particular age group, know the generation represented. For gender or minority groups, focus on what you want them to hear and what they might be interested in.Most of what Jessica is talks about is being prepared to demonstrate the impact your organization is having and what it can do.As you have heard me say many times, Nobody wants to give money away!But most people want to change lives.Thanks, Jessica for sharing.
Will You Be There When John Shamberg Calls?
A big part of fundraising is showing up and being available. I learned this lesson on a very memorable New Year’s Eve, a very long time ago.
As an eager young fundraiser working for Washburn University, I didn’t know that it was unusual still to be at work in the evening of December 31st. But, there I was.
Earlier that year, a graduate of Washburn University School of Law told me he was going to give a gift of land to his synagogue, a private K-12 school and Washburn. John Shamberg, who has since passed away, made millions of dollars for institutions all over the world, and he wanted to give a significant gift to organizations he valued. His 40 acres of land on the outskirts of Kansas City were valued at $450,000, and his intention was to give $150,000 each to three organizations.
He’d left the task to the last day of the year, but now he was ready to make it happen.
He called the synagogue. No answer.
He called the K-12 school. No answer.
Then, he called Washburn and got me.
“Bob,” he said, “you just won the jackpot!”
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