Donor-Centered Solicitation Plans

When writing a solicitation plan for a donor, it can be easy to get caught up in your classic elevator speech. You’ve spoken about your organization so many times—filling up a page with boilerplate information about how great your organization is—why someone should give comes as second nature. However, for your closest donors and board members, this information can become repetitive. Whether you ask or are being asked for money, you need to cater to each specific donor in a unique and fresh way.

The strength of one-on-one solicitations is in your ability to speak to an individual donor. You have a unique opportunity to tell the story of your organization through a lens that appeals directly to that person. It may be obvious to you, but when I am writing a number of solicitations for multiple donors I can get into a routine of using the same information each time.

When writing a donor-centered solicitation plan, start by writing down what you already know about the donor: what do you know about their family, where do they work, what school did they attend, what other nonprofits have they given to? Use this information to inform a personal ask targeted to their interests. Talk with them and engage them in the areas of the organization they are passionate about. If you do not know the donor all that well, it is too early to ask them for money. Bring them on a tour of your nonprofit and ask them open ended questions that help you better understand their passions.

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