What is My Donor Thinking?

With each of your major donor prospects, you should be continually revising your strategies to keep you on track. As you prepare, have a plan to answer each of the questions below at the appropriate time.  

Questions Every Donor Has in Their Head (Whether They Ask You or Not)

  1. Will I still be relevant after I’ve given you the money? (aka, Do you love me or do you love my money?)
  2. Do I have trust in you?
  3. What difference will my gift make? (aka, What will this gift allow you to do that you were unable to do before?)
  4. Why you, why me, and why now?
  5. How do I know you will do what you say you will do?
  6. Can you help me be smart when we structure the gift?
  7. How soon will you be back with another ask?
  8. How will we know when we succeed?
  9. Who else is doing what you are asking me to do?
  10. What size must the gift be to make a difference to your organization?

Answering These Questions Will:

  • Help make it clear to you that you can’t do it alone -- and, more specifically, point to the areas where you need support, so that you can ask your organization to provide the assistance you need.
  • Remind you of the importance of your stories. Several of these questions can be addressed through sharing of stories of other wonderful donors to your organization.
  • Significantly enhance your donors' understanding of who you are and why your organization deserves their partnership.  

 Thank you to PW friend, Troy Lindloff, Principal Gifts Officer, for helping us compile this list.