[Originally posted on advocace.com on February 2, 2019 and repurposed for dickerson-bakker.com.]
A development officer asked me to have lunch with her. We had casually met at an event, where she found out what I did and wanted to get to know me. She was a delightful person who worked for a large nonprofit in my area.
As we ate lunch and the conversation blossomed, I realized she was cultivating me for giving potential (an occupational hazard since I can spot out cultivation efforts easily).
She began to describe a capital campaign the organization had started. This is the point in the conversation I was tuning in, mostly from curiosity.
That’s when it went south.
The development director obviously did not have her heart in the campaign. She also did not have her case well-developed.
Instead of excitement or even curiosity, this conversation left me with doubts. Letting her off the hook, I explained I did not have capacity to support her campaign.
But even if I could have, I wouldn’t have given.
Check Your Heart for Your Campaign
Your key to cultivating donors for your capital campaign is to check your heart. Do you believe in this campaign? Why? Why is this so important?
If this campaign does not happen what will be missing to the people and the community you serve? Can you with energy and expression convey the need and the solution so well that a potential supporter becomes a donor? Is your heart so focused on accomplishing the vision that donors catch the vision to share with others?
Your key is your heart. Find the passion for the vision and rehearse the cause and solution until it is solid in your heart and conversation. This is what donors look for from you.