Two is better than one when it comes to major gift solicitations. We highly recommend that you take two solicitors on your most important fundraising calls for a few reasons:
It boosts your confidence to have a partner.
You can cover for each other if one of you forgets to make a point, or worse, chickens out when it’s time for the ask!
Having two people tell the story breaks up your presentation and can be more engaging.
Perhaps most importantly, it’s great to have two sets of ears listening to the prospect. You’ll find it amazing how differently two people can interpret a conversation.
The ideal solicitation usually involves a staff person and a volunteer.
The staff person might be the executive director, development director, major gifts officer or a program person. The volunteer might be a board member, but certainly doesn’t have to be.
This team is effective because the staff person can provide in-depth information about the organization and the program, while the volunteer can relay their own personal passion and make a powerful emotional appeal.
Consider your prospect carefully as you decide who is best to take on the call. Is this a prospect who is most likely to be moved by an emotional story? Will they want to hear more of a business case for making a gift? Will they be impressed and motivated by one of their peers? Is there someone specific that they already have a relationship with and will likely respond to?
Once you’ve put together your dream team, the keys to success are practice and communication.
Don’t leave anything to chance. Walk through each and every stage of the solicitation and have a plan. Decide who is going to say what. And then write it all down to make sure you both remember your roles.
Here’s a solicitation briefing template that you can use to get your team on the same page.
The real beauty of having two solicitors is that you’ll both get so good at making major gift asks, you can recruit new partners, and they can recruit new partners, until you have a whole slew of fundraisers on your side!