16 Jul The Best Donor Script
“But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matthew 10:19-20).
We should “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15). It’s also important to prepare for donor visits. Sometimes we worry, “what if I don’t say the right thing,” or worse, “what if I say something wrong?” Jesus instructed his disciples when they were called before the judge, not to worry about what to say or how to say it because it wouldn’t be them speaking, but the Spirit speaking through them. Here are five actions to prepare well for your next donor conversation.
Donor visits should be conversations not presentations, but having a scripted donor pitch can help. Just like a preacher memorizes key phrases for an extemporaneous sermon, you should memorize essential information about your mission, vision, and project. Anticipate questions and write out your responses. This will help you speak with confidence and handle tough questions like a pro.
Memorize some key phrases but use your own words. Rehearse your ask out loud with a friend to improve your delivery. Your conversations should be natural, not robotic. Showing you genuinely believe in your mission and programs boosts your credibility. Donors can sense if you have a passion and conviction for what your ministry does or if it’s just words.
Tailor your approach to your donors’ interests and past giving patterns. The closer you align your appeal to your donors’ heart the more likely they will give generously. When it comes to effective solicitation, “one size doesn’t fit all.” Ask the right person for the right project for the right amount.
When planning donor visits, have specific outcomes in mind. Don’t just visit to visit. Identify the purpose for your conversation. Is it a discovery call to learn their interests? A follow-up call to answer their questions? A thank-you call to express appreciation? One important goal is to attentively listen to their giving heart. Another is to share your proposal and confidently ask for a specific gift.
Your donors will never forget a great story. A Gideon missionary was distributing New Testaments on a busy street corner. One person shouted they would take a bible if they could use the paper to roll their cigarettes. The missionary responded, “That’s fine, but promise to read the page first before you tear it out and smoke it.” A few months later, the same person approached the missionary on the same corner and shared, “I smoked my way through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and when I got to John, I trusted in Jesus!”
Think About This: Ultimately, you are not responsible for the outcome, you are God’s spokesperson to present your ministry to the best of your ability and ask for your donors’ support. Before your next visit, ask God for “what to say and how to say it.” Then let the Spirt speak through you.
Response: Lord, please help me prepare well and pray fervently.
Ron Haas has served the Lord as a pastor, the vice president of advancement of a Bible college, a Christian foundation director, a board member and a fundraising consultant. He’s authored three books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising, Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving, and Keep on Asking – Bold, Spirit-Led Fundraising. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.