Questions I Like to Ask Major Donors
Before making a call, I like to think of the questions I might ask during our session. Add my list to the questions on your list. (What! You don’t have a list!) These should be penetrating questions you ask at each meeting.
- Why did you give so significantly to your organization?
- What did the organization do well in working with you for your gift? What did they not do well? (What could have been done better?)
- Describe the relationship you have with the organization. What accountabilities are important to you? What brings you the most joy, most satisfaction?
- What would be the one or two things you would say are most important for us to dramatically increase philanthropic support? (Doable by 2020.)
- How important are big ideas for attracting transformational philanthropy?
- What ideas are most important for attracting major or transformational gifts for us?
- What gift have you made to any organization that has given you the greatest joy?
- When a major gift is involved, who do you like to make the request? The CEO? The Development Director? A volunteer who has made a large gift?
- When did you begin giving to our organization? Do you remember the size of the gift?
- Do you feel the gift was properly recognized?
- What is the most surprising and unexpected thing that happened to you following the announcement of your gift?
- Are you on the board of the organization where you made your gift?
- Did you find, when you made your gift, that the money you spent was somehow not missed? (“you only lose what you don’t give away.”)
- What was the role of tax in your decision?
- Who was involved in the decision— attorney, CPA, spouse, no one?