If an investor is giving you 1x in response to a mail campaign, any sort of an event or ‘totally unsolicited’ then he or she would likely give 10x in response to a one-on-one (personal) visit-with-an-ask and 50x if the visit includes a dialogue around the funding plan (as part of the full case-for-support and ask).
This is not scientific but it’s far from arbitrary. This is my own little way of thinking about potential based on what I’ve seen at many organizations (start-ups to colleges). It’s a way of thinking about
- The potential of your current relationships.
- The potential of new relationships (if we visit!)
- Why we need to be visiting
Everybody says they need more prospects. Instead of trying to get more people to give 1x think about how you can get more people to give 50x!
- 1x is clearly emotional. I’ve seen a lot of people cry at events – but the giving is still impersonal and ‘charitable’ in nature.
- Sitting with someone one-one-one (or 2-1 / 2-2) allows you to listen and respond. It makes the ask personal and seems to trigger another level of discernment in giving – increasing a commitment to an organization ten-fold (10x).
- But to really get the big big gifts (50x) we need to do a better job of walking our prospects through a funding plan and going back and forth, having a dialogue about the ask… giving context and providing the FULL case-for-support. These conversations are much more strategic.
At my seminars I share a story of a school that met with parents and supporters. They asked everyone to “prayerfully consider giving at a level that was significant”. Those that had previously contributed $2000 through the auction responded with $20,000 gifts. The school was still frustrated. They had $1M prospects giving $100K and $100K prospects giving $20K.
As much as the prospects liked the school they had no context for how much money to consider. They had no way of guessing that $1M might be the linchpin for the campaign… there was no discussion that gave the committed families and supporters a framework to think bigger.
This school went back to each supporter with a complete funding plan. For a $1Million dollar ask, for example, they would ask for the $1Million (a specific number). More than that they would have a discussion around WHY the $1Million and what it would enable the school to do (leverage, leadership, timing, etc). The prospects had a broad context in which to consider the ask and many of them increased their gifts by five times and some by 20 or 30 times!
I’ve met with billionaires and many many millionaires. Trust me, nobody has disposable income. Nobody is going to guess that a $1Million will help. $10K or $50K is a lot to anyone! It’s not until we show up that we can get 10X. It’s not until we dialogue about 50X that we can get 50X.
A rhetorical question: Is it easier for you to visit with every current funder and ASK (10X) or to get ten more prospects to give? From there, is it easier to get your best prospects to 50X or to get 5-10 more visits?