I Did My Homework – They Said No!
No matter what, if you prepared appropriately and feel good about the solicitation, NO is always a potential answer (albeit one none of us ever want to hear). In the words of my teenager, “Why?… Why?…”, (perhaps without the whine) is completely appropriate: let the donor tell you why they won’t make the gift.
Using phrases like, “Do I understand that ….?” or “What do you like or dislike about the proposal…?”
These questions will likely answer…
- Is it the right amount?
- Was the ask at the right time?
- Was it for the right project?
- Was it something else?
You have 3 options:
- Restate Your Proposal
- Provide a Counter-Offer
- Go Back to the Drawing Board
With any of the above, use your donor’s language. Listen to what they are telling you. Make sure it isn’t just a ‘not now’.
Be gracious, say thank you, and plan for follow-up.
And congratulate yourself on cultivating a donor.