Monthly Archives: March 2013

Are you scripting your speeches?

To script or not to script is a topic that inevitably surfaces this time of year, as nonprofits move into the gala and event season. My experience is that the opinions on either side of this coin are firm. But it’s not a matter of either or. There is an and to consider.speech_Case for Support

But first, what, precisely, is at issue? The issue is about control. Proponents of the scripted speech want to maintain control of the message and its length, and for good reason. Continue reading

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How to talk so donors listen

One of the things I love about my work is seeing the sparkle in a client’s eyes when they talk about their work. I am thinking of one individual, in particular, who speaks with such passion about the connection she has with her donors. I can see that she derives real satisfaction from explaining the impact of a gift in ways that really gets through to the donor. The client I’m speaking of is a gifted fundraiser. She has intuition on her side. But that’s only part of it.Case for Support Blog_How to talk so donors listen

Talking so donors listen begins by listening, listening for what they value.

People give to advance the things they value. If a donor is looking to infuse his or her retirement years with purpose and meaning, a message about how a piece of medical equipment will reduce wait times will not resonate. The values are misaligned.

In the book The Realm of Rhetoric, Chaim Perelman (1912 – 1984), philosopher and rhetorician, identifies two kinds of values: Continue reading

Tips for a well messaged gala

The other day, a client asked me for tips on how to message a gala. Since we are approaching gala season, I thought I’d share my reply here with you.How to message a gala_Case for Support

Every gala is different. So instead of giving you advice and specifics that may not be useful for your organization, I will share my approach.

Gala messaging is not about reinventing the wheel. It is about expressing an already strategically, thought-through case for support to a specific group of individuals.

I keep the message real by developing it with real people in mind, donors who will be at the event. I am talking about real people not composite characters based on demographic indicators. I look for people who have capacity to give and who may  not be fully sold on the cause. By selecting skeptics, Continue reading

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