Yesterday was a great day. I spent it preparing volunteer solicitors to make campaign asks.
We didn’t do a group training. Instead, we worked with teams of two. We called it orientation rather than training. We set ourselves up in a conference room and held small meetings one after the other.
This is how we like to do it at Front Range Source and we highly recommend you consider doing the same.
In this way, you can sit together and really talk about specific prospects who will be invited to give. You can develop a carefully thought-out solicitation agenda that speaks to the interests and passions of the prospects and of the solicitors. And, the solicitor teams really gel with each other.
This approach builds the confidence of the solicitors and it most certainly improves the donor experience.
There are three tools that really help in this process:
The Flow of a Personal Solicitation – walk through each and every step of the solicitation with your volunteer solicitors. Decide who will say what. Practice. Write it down so they’ll remember.
Prospect Research – make sure you provide your volunteer solicitors with solid background information on each prospect they will solicit. You don’t have to give them every little piece of information, but do make sure they understand the prospect’s connections and interests. And, reassure them that the ask amount is based on good information. BTW, if you ever have questions about prospect research, just call us!
A Really Great Campaign Brochure — it makes for a better experience if a campaign prospect has read a brochure in advance of a solicitation meeting. If they haven’t read it, the brochure can be an important prop for the solicitors. Make sure it’s written concisely and clearly, that it has beautiful, compelling images, and that it clearly shows how you want donors to be involved.
Taking the time to work closely with your volunteer solicitors pays off in so many ways. And, you know what? It’s incredibly satisfying. To me, it’s what fundraising is all about.