As I walked into his office, it didn't take long to figure out that he was successful. Well to be really honest it wasn’t just the office decor; his name was on the building too! I was a little rusty from 10 months of being active on the college campus as a director of college ministry and this was my first appointment of the summer with a potential giver.
Things started off okay, jumped into my get to know me thing, then how things work in our ministry and even threw in a student life impact story. But the more I talked, the more I felt like something was off here.
The business owner was kind and attentive but almost out of happenstance, he started telling me about ministry he was supporting and in a matter of minutes his voice elevated with passion as he reiterated the stories of impact that he was experiencing as a partner with this other organization.
The issue? I failed to understand what made this giver’s heart tick. I didn’t walk out with a financial gift but I did walk out with the gift of an insightful experience!
Your vision matters. It matters to you. It matters to God. And it matters that its fully funded.
No one works harder on your vision than you. You work to develop it’s messaging. You work on the collateral materials. And if you’re really good, you hard on the clarity of your messaging.
Because clarity wins the day. A clear, concise and compelling message differentiates your vision from all the “mission” noise clamoring for givers attention. That’s a good thing!
However, there is something better than clarity. Something that trumps a killer elevator pitch or an amazing life impact story
That one thing better: the heart and passion of the giver. You always have to start there, always!
Major gifts are the result of major alignment. When a clear vision aligns with a clear passion, magic happens.
So, the question is: Have you connected with the heart of the giver? Do you know what they’re truly passionate about? You know your own macro narrative and mission inside and out but do you know what micro narrative your givers are attracted to?
Question to open up that part of the conversation: ask the potential giver, what gift have you made recently that brought you the most joy?
So, what happens after alignment is established? The ask. Givers cannot read your mind? They need to be asked…clearly!
Like you I have both experienced and heard about those moments when a “miracle gift” just showed up in the mailbox just in the nick of time but 98% of the time, that’s not how God seems to do it.
What I have found is that money does NOT follow vision, what I have learned after raising funds for the past 35 years, is that money doesn’t follow vision, it follows asking!
So become a better listener…connect with the heart of that giver and then ASK boldly when you know that both the alignment and timing are right!