3 ways to get that crucial donor meeting

face to face meetings.jpg

All major gift fundraisers know that getting a face-to-face meeting is critical to beginning a major donor relationship. BUT a number of people on every prospect list will be very hard to secure a meeting with: they don’t respond to invites, they have fierce gatekeepers or they schedule then bump your meetings.

The problem is their attitude towards your organisation, BUT the solution is to get in front of them! They don’t have the information they need to make an informed decision; if they just met you, they might want to get involved.

I come across this bottle neck regularly with fundraisers who I coach; it affects all levels of fundraising seniority.

Below I have distilled my advice on how best to get that pivotal meeting:

  • Flatter

  • Intrigue

  • Enlighten

Here’s how, but be sure that whatever you say rings true; lying or misrepresenting is unethical and will backfire horribly.


Ask for their advice and expertise, let them know that they are in a small group of people who understand your work, and reveal how influential they would be to your supporters and/or beneficiaries.


Pique their interest: tell them about people they would meet or hear from through you; explain your innovative solutions to social challenges; wow them with your ideas and connections.


Do they really know what you’re fighting for? They might think your mission is unrealistic or, conversely, not see why it’s important. These are the simplest ways to characterise causes in order to reject them, but your passionate introduction can change hearts and minds.

And lastly, be persistent!

Following this approach has helped many of the fundraisers I coach to secure that critical first meeting. You can also read my blog about how to get the best out of face-to-face meetings.

Please share below ways in which you have secured meetings that inspire more people to make a difference.

face to face meetings.jpg
Ilana JackmanComment