July 2021

Ten Questions to Ask Your Donors Post-Pandemic

Dear [First Name],

The pandemic gave us much more to talk about and many more shared, deeply important experiences. It was impossible, in most of our interactions with anyone and everyone, not to talk about the pandemic.

Coming out of the depths of the pandemic, as we have in much of the United States, another great opportunity presents itself. We can talk to our donors about their experiences over the last 15 months. We can swap stories, share perspectives, and learn so much.

Here are some questions to ask your donors, however you reach out to them:

Asking Styles Tip for the Month

Your Donors Have an “Asking” Style Too

Though your donors are not asking in this relationship, they all have an Asking Style based on how they think and how they interact. Figuring that out can help you build relationships as you can sooner provide them information they find compelling and involve them in ways that suit their personalities.

How do you figure out a donor’s Style? Start with how they interact. Extroverts will be more amenable to a call out of the blue, while introverts will generally prefer you write to them first, even if it’s to find a time to talk by phone.

Rainmakers will probably ask for an efficient meeting and get right to business. Go-Getters will enjoy free-flowing chats. Kindred Spirits will want to be helpful in answering your questions and let you run the meeting. Mission Controllers are most likely to ask you to send them information in advance and then ask you lots of questions about what you’ve sent.

Eight Questions Every Individual Gift Officer

Should Ask Themselves Post-Pandemic

This has been a time like no other. For those of us on the frontline asking for gifts, we’ve had to figure out new ways to move forward. So where does that leave us now?

What do we need to ask ourselves as we emerge from the worst of this pandemic and can once again join our colleagues and donors in person? What does it mean that we might be moving away from virtual cultivation events toward hybrid or in-person events?

For those of us in most of the United States, that moment of transition is now. For those around the world, the timing has yet to be determined.

Looking ahead, here are questions I recommend asking yourself:

On the Road

July 2021

I've continued my work with Northwestern Settlement House in Chicago, where I've worked for 30 years. This is my fourth campaign with them, and the most special as we're raising funds, in honor of Ron Manderschied, to expand teen programming.

Ron is retiring after 40 years as the CEO – an extraordinary tenure. And I've been lucky to partner with him for 30 of those years. We've been in more than a thousand donor meetings together over the years…can you imagine!

We used to carve out a day or two a week and drive up to the North Shore, where many of our donors lived, and have four or five meetings in a day! At one point, the coffee shop owners really started to wonder what these two guys in jackets and ties were doing meeting with this revolving door of people.

On another note, I am SO happy to be back on the road again. My first live, in-person training is later this month and I can't wait! My calendar for the rest of the year is already starting to fill up, so please reach out to me if your board or staff could use some training later this summer or in the fall.


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