Meeting Outcomes

I wrote a post on January 24 called Organizing Your Acquisition, that gives some tips on how to set up multiple meetings and connect with a number of new potential supporters. There were some great follow up questions. What outcomes do I have when meeting with new people? What makes it a good meeting? How do you measure the effectiveness of a first meeting?

When measuring the success of a meeting, there are a number of potential outcomes which depend a great deal on the specific individuals and my meeting with them. If I’m looking to connect with someone that I would like to use as a referral donor, success looks like creating a deep enough relationship that they acknowledge a willingness to make an introduction for me. If I’m trying to gauge the future interest of a donor who has not given in a long time, success looks like identifying what his or her interests are and why the connection lapsed. When meeting someone brand new to the organization, my intention is to make a strong enough connection so that I can talk with them again or that they would be willing to take another call from me.

Setting meetings to build new relationships can be a very difficult thing to measure directly. Building relationships with donors in this way can lead to more donations, larger gifts, and longer-term giving, but you will not always see a direct relationship between each meeting. One of the largest immediate benefits that I’ve found is in the new relationships that are created with the organization. I will often learn something new about a local business or industry. Because of a comment during the meeting, I will often change my messaging or how I promote a specific project within an organization. These meetings can lead to new board members or volunteers.

How do you measure your meetings with donors? Do you have specific outcomes in mind when you go into all of your meetings? Are they specific to each individual donor or do you have a checklist or process you go through?

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