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Fundraising Tip – Listen

I stopped talking.

As much as I loved my nonprofit, as much as I knew the life-changing and life-saving work our staff did every day, as much as I wanted to make sure our donor knew all of this, I stopped talking.

I let her talk. And I listened.

I remember this meeting as if it were last week. It was 14 years ago. One of my first conversations as a director of development with a donor. A donor who had donated for a few years. A donor who I wanted to get to know and see if she may want to give more.

As much as I wanted to get to know her, I realized I was talking. A lot. Foruntately for me, for those we served, and for our donor, I realized this pretty quickly into the conversation. 

I stopped talking.

She had plenty to say. She loved our organization. She gave because of a deeply personal experience. One that changed her life. The more she talked, the more I became glued to every word.

I listened.

And I kept listening. I didn’t interrupt. I didn’t ask questions. I simply kept listening.

We have so much to say. So do our donors. Let them speak. Listen to every word. Everyone will benefit, I promise.

Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.

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