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- Tom Suddes

Learning Library / Funding / Qualified Prospects / Prospect Strategy Checklist / What Would It Mean To Maximize This Relationship At This Given Moment?

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What Would It Mean To Maximize This Relationship At This Given Moment?

The goal of every Development Office and Development Officer (by title or role or responsibility) is to: MAXIMIZE THE RELATIONSHIP AT THIS GIVEN MOMENT!

What would it mean to maximize this relationship?

Think about this question.
Use this question to gather information.
Use this question to drive strategy.

It is very different from these questions:

What do you think the prospect will give?
How much should we ask for?

These second questions lead to short-sighted prospect information, under-asking and engagement at the wrong level. We want engagement at the highest possible level.

If you ask your team, “How much do you think Ms. X will give?”
You might get an answer like, “$50,000.”

If you ask, “What would it mean to maximize this relationship? What could Ms. X give if he understood our impact? What could Mr. X give if he loved this vision? What would Ms. X do if he woke up in the morning driven to make this vision happen? If it were his number one priority?”

You might get an answer like, “Anything he wanted to.”

The point? It may not be about a $50,000 gift (think: transaction vs. relationship).

Think big. It’s about maximizing the relationship.

At this moment. Focus on maximizing the relationship. Today. Too often we see organizations waiting years and trying to prepare the perfect $1M ask. If you’re maximizing the relationship, that could mean a smaller commitment on the first visit with a plan to do a larger project going forward.