Good prospect research can be invaluable but needs to be paired with good question asking. It is great to learn house values & business ownerships, etc. but if you do not talk with your donor and learn about their family, interests, current situations your research is useless. I wanted to talk today a little bit about what are some good probing questions that I ask and that I have found useful.
Each time I attend a donor event or go on a donor visit I find that they are looking for some kind of relationship. They want to know you care about them and want to know how best to plug them into the organization. When I talk with donors I am doing two things: trying to learn things about them (interests, capacity, family, etc.) and trying to create a two-way relationship. Here are a few questions that I often use to get the conversation started.
- How did you find out about the organization?
- What first connected you to us?
- Why have you stayed connected?
- Are there things you’d like to see us doing that we are not?
- What are your favorite programs?
Make sure to check out other posts I’ve done regarding prospect research. What questions do you use? Leave them in a comment below.