Part 5 – The Ask: Personal Solicitation
Elements of a Personal Solicitation
Because you will have limited time with your prospect (generally 30-45 minutes) be
organized and prepared. Not only will the meeting run smoothly, but you will
demonstrate professionalism and enhance your credibility.
? Thank them for meeting with you and introduce the team
? Make a personal connection if possible by handing out information packets and,
where appropriate, mention connections to children, spouse, community activities,
etc., you have found through your research
? Acknowledge previous support/relationship with your organization
? Articulate your awareness of their interests or related support
? Try to get them to talk about their interests/priorities
? Use this information to lead into “making the case”
Make the Case
? Get a feel for what they know about your organization
? Make your case bigger than your organization. Give a vision for the future of your
city or neighborhoods
? Emphasize your organization’s ability to make a unique contribution to realizing the
? Delineate the outcomes you expect (“return on investment”)
Be ready to answer questions
? What are your income sources? What will you do if your income increases?
? How many people do you serve? Who are they?
? What are your results? How do you measure them?
? What do donors get for their investment?
? A specific amount or non-cash resource
? Their review of a proposal
? Seek investment, not charity. Talk about yield on investment
? Once you ask, be quiet and wait for their response; don’t worry if there is a pause in
? :Listen and respond
Closing the Meeting
Closing the Meeting: A lot can happen once you make your request, from an on the spot
commitment to a negative reaction. Here is how to respond to the most common
If… then… They make a commitment, Restate what you understand their
commitment to be. Make your own
commitment to follow up with them. Above
all else, thank them and ask if they need
anything in writing from you.
They ask for or agree to review Narrow down what they are interested in,
a proposal, and commit to delivering a proposal by a
certain date. Follow through by submitting
They resist or respond negatively, Ask what their specific objections are and
try to counter them. If you cannot get an
immediate commitment, ask them to review
They object to the amount you have Ask for a multi-year pledge, or ask what
requested, they would consider.
They say they have already contributed Explain how your work differs, serves a
To an umbrella fund, such as the distinct population, or meets
United Way, a disparate need.
They indicate an interest in other areas, Empathize, but bear in mind that few people
or organizations give to only one cause.
Bring their attention back to your clients by
explaining how their gift will make a
tremendous difference to these people and to
the community. Your research on their
priorities is critical here.
They do not see the link to their interests, Explain the links you see and try to get them
to agree with your statements. Presumably
you are there because you did your
homework and have reasons to believe your
work does fit their interests. Ask if you can
submit a proposal explaining the linkages.
Follow up Within 24 hours, send a letter thanking them
for their time. If they made a commitment,
restate it. Add link to Thank You Letter
If you’re sending a proposal, commit to the
deadline 2- weeks or whatever terms you
have mutually agreed upon.
File copy of letter in Prospect file.
Complete and submit proposal if promised.
Copyright ? 2006, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. All rights reserved. Adaptation of this material is
permitted only for noncommercial purposes.