Summer-Lovin-20172This summer, the Donor By Design Team is considering new ways grow the relationship with our donors… moving beyond the thank you note to a deeper connection. Today’s topic: how do you learn your supporters’ stories? 


    I have the privilege of speaking to lots of groups about the art of asking for money. I work hard to connect to each group and bring my best energy to the room.

    As part of my trainings, I like to interview a donor or board member. My favorite question to ask is “Tell me your story from birth to today in 5 minutes.” This question is wonderful and even who know these donors well always learn something. I then like to ask about the other causes they support and why.

    After the short interview is done, I ask the room if they know more about the interviewee than they knew 15 minutes earlier. They always readily agree. I then say it’s too bad a guy from Chicago had to fly in to help them get closer to the group. This always engenders a bit of nervous laughter.

    Relationships matter. But they don’t happen by accident.

    So here’s your summer challenge: take time to visit with your board and another ten of your top donors or donor prospects. Bring them a mid-year update and then ask to hear their story. I promise you will learn something new, and you will have a deeper understanding of the impact they want to have in the world.

    Remember people love to talk about themselves. So celebrate their story! Plus, remember the adage: ask for money and get advice…ask for advice and get money!

    Posted by Bruce Berglund on Jun. 19, 2017
    Bruce Berglund

    Written by Bruce Berglund

    Bruce Berglund, CFRE, is the founder and President of DBD Group, a national firm providing comprehensive consulting services to nonprofits, faith-based organizations, colleges and more. Bruce is a highly sought-after writer, speaker and teacher.

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