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Thought #21 —

Convey a Sense of Thriftiness

Donors want to make certain your college or university is very careful about its funds and that it operates efficiently. Talk about how scrupulous you are in squeezing the dollar.

Be aware of any excessive fundraising expenses. Cut back on anything and everything that doesn’t generate funds. Cut out the extras.

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Thought #20 —

Cultivation is Important

Cultivation is important. I’m a great believer in regular, structured, and organized visits. You can’t sell a vision in 45 minutes. Sometimes you have to marry the girl! But keep in mind that some people are willing to give now. Don’t wait.

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Thought #19 —

Ask for a Specific Amount

When you ask, request a specific amount. Don’t use a range. (I would like you to consider a gift of $10 to $20 thousand, the floor becomes the ceiling.)

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Thought #18 —

Follow the BOY rule 

Follow the BOY rule. Because Of You. Let your donors know how important they are— that you couldn’t have done it without them. “Because of you . . .”

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Thought #17 —

Attrition is Your Enemy

Attrition is your enemy. It is something that should be measured monthly. If it is around 40%, you should be concerned. Over 50% to 60%, you need to worry about it. Over 60%, you have a serious problem.

It costs 4½ times the resources, energy, and time to get a new gift than to renew one.

Your job is to have an effective program of stewardship— letting your donors know how important they are to you.

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Thought #16 —

Pointers for Professionals 

Here are some pointers I feel are important for a professional to practice. Not just now and then. Always.

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Thought #15 —

Five Levels of Giving 

  1. Those who give without even being asked.
  2. Those who need to be asked— but when asked will make their gift.
  3. Those who need to be persuaded— and once persuaded will make a gift.
  4. Those who need to be persuaded— they may or may not make a gift.
  5. The inert fifth— they will never make a gift. There is no philanthropic intent.

Spend 80% of your time and effort cultivating the top three categories.

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Thought #14 —

Get to Know Your Prospect

Keep in mind that a prospect is a real person. They don’t want you to think they have a sign across their chest that says, “I give money away.” They have love, happiness, joy. They have grief, problems, and concerns. Get to know them.