May, 2011Ask yourself these fundamental questions, as you and your team pursue talking points and messages.
For your toolbox: A bullet list of conversation starters.
This list was written on the fiery front lines, for a real (but small) arts organization.
On their horizon: a capital campaign for millions, their biggest effort ever. Next step: creating a case for support.
The executive director wisely invited 20 stakeholders in for a day of message development. Those stakeholders (donors, board members past and present, staff, clients) then broke up into four groups, each group assigned a topic for discussion.
All the groups were given the following list and told, "Here are some questions you might want to consider, as you talk about your topic...."
You might be wondering: Okay, fine. But why these particular questions? What makes them special?
Well, I write a half dozen or more cases every year. I know the information I will need to pull from my clients, to make a strong case for donor support. These particular questions, I've found, help elicit that key information.
What is a case for support, after all?
A good case for philanthropic support includes a description of your project, of course. But if that's all you have, you don't have much of a case.
A truly effective case for support is a sales document and it seeks to stimulate desire in your donor prospects, by presenting them with an opportunity to do something wonderful for a part of the world they care about.
A good case dangles in front of potential donors the opportunity to do something amazing: (1) for themselves and (2) for the community [in that order].
Truth be told: the down-and-dirty details of your project don't matter all that much to donors. You sell at 30,000 feet, not at 3 feet ... as For Impact (the Suddes Group) rightly and repeatedly insists.
Check out Tom Ahern - http://www.aherncomm.com