Institute for Charitable Giving

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The Adventurous Dream

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Frank Cerutti is one of the most effective major gift fundraisers I know. He is with Prison Fellowship.

The other day, he told me a story about a man he visited with. I’ll call him Sam.

I’ll get back to the story in a minute. This all came about from something I had written recently. I said that people don’t want to give money away. They want to give to audacious, exciting, game-changing dreams and visions.

Back to Frank and his call on Sam. Frank is a superb asker, so this isn’t the problem.

Frank talks about the program and asks Sam for a gift. “That’s not big enough. End of meeting!”

Frank leaves the session, not happy, but not discouraged either.  He plans for another discussion and a more exciting program.

There’s another meeting. Frank tells the story. “Still not big enough. End of meeting!”

Frank returns with even a more adventurous idea. “Now you’ve got it right, dude.  Let’s talk.”

Frank gets the gift.

If you talk to someone about a gift, there’s got to be some snap, crackle, and pop. (I’m not certain that’s a term used these days, but you get the idea.)

I hear from some of our clients that it’s tough. All we can talk about is annual support. Wrong!

Packaging is essential. Show how your request changes lives and saves lives. That’s why people give.

Snap, crackle, and pop!


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