Is your case stirring hearts and minds?

I met a colleague for a glass of wine at ULounge in South Surrey after work on Tuesday. She shared an illuminating story.

My colleague serves on the finance committee of local nonprofit whose giving is down. At a recent meeting, a committee member had suggested that the younger generation was not as committed to the cause as he thought it could be or should be. He believed that educating that donor group would result in increased revenue.  My colleague turned the mirror away from the donor toward the charity, as she shared that her 19-year-old daughter is pumped about being a micro lender. This young woman comes home from work and logs on to her computer to follow her investment, which is helping families work their way out of poverty. My colleague suggested that the problem the committee was grappling with was not about the donor but rather a less-than-inspiring case – or presentation of the case – and perhaps antiquated means of engagement.

About 10 years ago, I was part of a consulting team that was working on a planning study in Abbotsford, BC. We were testing support for a major building project. Sitting across from me was a financially successful, middle-aged businessman. When we came to the part of the interview that probed into the level of support for the vision, he said (and I remember it clearly): Present me with a vision I can get excited about and I’ll give you my money.  

I leave you with this to chew on: How compelling is the case you are presenting? Is it stirring hearts and minds?

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