Strategy vs. Enthusiasm

How should we go about inviting Mrs. Howard to make the lead gift?

You might be inclined to respond to this strategy question by seeking to know more about Mrs. Howard as a person and as a donor.  You would probably want to know more about her history with your institution, her financial capacity, the amounts and types of gifts she has made previously, her project interests, or her circle of influencers who may need to be part of the conversation.

And while all of these details are clearly important, never overlook the fact that the strategy which resonates most enthusiastically with the inviter can be the most important.  If the person doing the inviting is not enthusiastic about the strategy, the chances of receiving an affirming response from Mrs. Howard are greatly reduced.

Yes, she must believe in your mission.  Yes, she must believe in your institution’s leadership.  Yes, she must believe her gift will make an impact she cares about.  But the inviter has to believe in the strategy crafted to invite the gift.

So, instead of attempting to foretell which gift invitation strategy might work best with Mrs. Howard, it may be far more wise to ask the person making the gift invitation which strategy he is most enthusiastic about employing.

Enthusiasm is contagious.

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