I’m always impressed and grateful when a current supporter or prospect asks good questions. First and foremost, it indicates that they are really considering our agency and mission carefully which means if I answer these questions well, a positive giving decision may follow. Secondly, the questions the ask create opportunity for our relationship to deepen. Lastly, good questions keep me sharp! Some examples I love to hear, and aim to respond to carefully and creatively are:
- What impact are you actually having on the people you are seeking to serve?
- How are you measuring success?
- Who are your collaborative partners?
- What have been your biggest challenges in the last fiscal year?
- How did you (Edward) get involved in this work?
- Instead of just throwing money at this, are there other ways I can get involved?
- What role does your Board play in moving the organization forward?
I never want to be scripted, but having ideas and responses to questions like these that are well formed, polished, and accurate can really have an impact on our supporters. In fact, top to bottom, having these responses crafted can culminate into really effective way to represent our agencies even if the questions don’t get asked.
Earlier in my career I sometimes lacked the humility to acknowledge when I didn’t know the answer and would end up scrambling at times because I thought that pretending to know everything was always the best bet. It’s not. If a supporter or prospect asks a great question you don’t know that answer to, acknowledge you don’t know, appreciate them asking, and commit to getting back to them with a well researched response. The bonus here, is that it gives you another reason to follow up which is always a win.
What questions do you love to hear a supporter or prospect ask? Join the conversation at @infosmallchange #ascblog.