Friday, November 4, 2011

Moving From A $40 Gift To $5,000 in 4 Repeatable Steps

-->Sally Part Two
In my last entry, I shared about a conversation I had with Sally in a bar after a consulting conference and how Sally grew from a $40 to a $5,000 a year donor. This entry shares the “moves” Teach for America used. This is what Sally shared, with my comments in parenthesis, just like a DVD commentary of a movie.

Event One: The Invite
Sally was invited by a business associate who had helped her and her husband a lot in the past to come to a dinner to learn about Teach for America. Sally figured it was payback time; they owed this man plenty. (The right person asks Sally. How can she say no?)

Event Two: The Dinner
Sally and her husband attend the dinner and learn about Teach for America. She is offered the opportunity to sponsor a classroom. (A specific request for a specific amount that provides tangible outcomes.) Sally learns about the impact this gift would have on a whole classroom for one year. She believes the offer is a great bargain at $5,000. “All those little lives for one year for $5k?” Sally and her husband become class sponsors. (How can you help donors to understand you offer a great bargain?)

Event Three: Unknown
After the dinner, one assumes several exchanges and thank you notes were exchanged. Sally doesn’t mention these to me as she relayed her story. (These are musts.)

Event Four: The Offer to Tour and Meet Someone of Interest
Later, Teach for America makes Sally an additional offer. Would Sally like to go on a tour? They are giving a tour to a major business leader from a Fortune 500 company. There was space. Was Sally interested? Yes, she was. (Teach for America understands Sally’s professional need to meet other business leaders to promote her business. They understand the value of her time. Not only is Sally happy to learn more on a tour, she is happy to be introduced to a business leader who is a potential client of her consulting business.)

None of these brilliant events is accidental. Someone or a group of people, have thoughtfully considered how to offer these opportunities to Sally. Sally is being helped to do what she wants to do more of—make a meaningful contribution both personally and professionally. Teach for America helps Sally. Sally helps Teach for America. Teach for America helps Sally . . .
Who are your Sally’s? How are you reaching them? What is your plan to increase your income—whether via individual donations or one of the other six nonprofit income sources? How do you help people to succeed, so that they can help you to reach your mission? - Karen Eber Davis

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