Partner Up! Why Fundraising Solicitations in Pairs Work Best

The prevailing wisdom when it comes to face-to-face solicitations for major gifts is that solicitors work best in pairs. But wouldn’t we all raise more money if we split up and had twice as many meetings? Turns out, that’s not the case.

Whether you pair your organization’s development director with your Board chair or the CEO with a volunteer committee member, here are 7 reasons why such pairings will raise more money for your organization.

Tag-team solicitations will help you because they:

  1. Reduce FearHaving someone with you reduces any nervousness or anxiety you may be feeling about the meeting or its likelihood of success.
  2. Create AccountabilitySolicitation partners become accountable to each other. You are both more likely to follow through with your mutual agenda for the meeting.
  3. Ensure that “The Ask” HappensSee Reason #2. The solicitation partner who had agreed ahead of time to ask for the gift is more likely to actually ask, when another organization stakeholder is present.
  4. Increase Credibility for Your Cause. If your solicitation partner is a friend of the prospect, a prominent public figure, or another VIP-type, your organization will gain credibility by association with this person.
  5. Improve the Likelihood of a Positive ResponseTwo people represent the full community of your organization much more than you alone would. And it is far easier to turn down an individual, even a friend, than to say “no” to your entire community.
  6. Improve AccuracyTwo people’s memories will improve the post-meeting debrief process. You’ll increase the accuracy of recollecting what the prospect said or didn’t say and what the follow-up will be.
  7. Cultivate Your Volunteer. Inviting a volunteer to advocate for your organization will bring him or her closer to your cause. Also, the team solicitation builds a relationship between the volunteer solicitor and the staff person.

What is your experience with partnering up for face-to-face major gift solicitations? What do you see as the biggest reasons to do or not do this?

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