A Winning Formula for Prospect Meetings

Hi, my name is Kim and I like to work with nonprofit organizations, travel, read (especially mysteries), try new … yada… yada… yada…

 Overwhelm you yet?

That might be what it sounds like when you meet with a prospective corporate funder for the very first time. The challenges your nonprofit is trying to solve are complex. (If they were easy, you would have solved them already, right?) So it’s understandable that you are tempted to paint a detailed picture of what your organization does and who it benefits.

Clear the clutter by turning that thinking upside down. Instead, try this formula for your next prospect meeting:

1/3 You + 2/3 Them = Success

Here’s how a 45-minute meeting might look:

First 15 minutes: Introduce your nonprofit.

Next 25 minutes: Ask open-ended questions to find out about your prospective funder. What are the company’s marketing goals? How do they work with other nonprofits? How does your nonprofit match up with what you’re hearing? Don’t forget to listen… really listen.

Last 5 minutes: Match what you heard from the prospect with what your nonprofit can accomplish. Recap why you believe the match is good, find out who will make the funding decision, and solicit an invitation to submit a funding proposal.

Making the connection: What do you think? Have you used this formula to set the groundwork for a relationship rather than a transaction?

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