So why do we feel compelled to try to make the case for support a rationalization? "We are more cost effective. We can multiple your gifts dramatically. We have the expertise to address the issue. We know the process to solve the problems."
When discussing a gift with a prospect think about making your case emotionally. One way is to help your prospect understand the risks of NOT making the gift and you'll touch their emotions. For example, "What do you think would happen if we don't do this?" "What do you think is the cost of doing nothing?" "If we meet again in a year, what do you think will have happened because of your gift?"
Conversations like this engage the emotional side of your prospects and help them realize their choice doesn't have to be rationalized. It comes from their heartfelt commitment.
Now that we've thought about the emotional side of a decision to make a charitable gift, let's think about the other side of that decision process. According to adweek.com, 81% of all buyers gather information online before making a purchase. And people are checking many more sources before they make decisions because it's easy to do on the web. So it's safe to assume that charitable givers may be similar in doing some research before they make a decision to give.
So now we know that givers may conduct 80% of their research before they make a decision to give, and they can access many more sources in the process. So what distinguishes their ultimate decision? It is trust. Especially in the world of charitable work, trust in an organization is the most important factor. And how do we convey this trust? With our people.
Volunteers represent the organization and communicate how much they are committed to the work. Staff brings the details and expertise to answer more specific questions. Regardless of the research, the printed information, the technology advances, the single most important factor in making a decision is trust. And it is people who represent that trust. Only people can inspire trust from others. A great board discussion on the topic of why and how our organization's people build and demonstrate trust is a good way to start.
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