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Joe delivers powerful association presentations, board presentations and conducts half-day development retreats TOPICS INCLUDE:


Spending More Time with Donors

How do we maximize our time so we are spending it with the right donors? What does the “right” donor look like? How do we get in front of donors and start meaningful conversations? In this presentation, we’ll uncover the answers. We’ll explore specific ways to ascertain needs, be a better listener, develop stronger relationships, ask better questions and help donors get what they want!

This presentation focuses on THREE key areas that will give fundraisers and gift planning professionals that extra edge to improve their performance:

  1. Who to Visit
  2. Getting the Visit
  3. Making the most of the Visit

By the end of this session, the attendees will learn:

  1. Tools to guarantee more donor visits.
  2. Ideas to build stronger relationships and get better results.
  3. Systems to improve the outcomes of donor interactions.

Presentation Overview:

What are the characteristics of a successful fundraiser? How can you adopt some of those techniques? Successful fundraisers are not born. They do not “wing it.” They do not sit in their office waiting for the phone to ring. Successful fundraisers have a system, a process they follow to help them meet or exceed their goals. They visit with donors and are talking with them every day. Joe combines proven techniques, real examples and light humor to provide practical content that your attendees can immediately start applying to their fundraising. Balancing an in-depth knowledge of sales, communication and fundraising, Joe cites concrete ideas and tools every fundraiser should know. Here are some highlights:

  • Learn how to re-direct your focus so you can spend more time with donors. There is always time to call and visit donors.
  • Become a great salesperson. Joe will share proven sales disciplines that apply perfectly to fundraising.
  • Learn the specific language on what to say to get the visit and make the ask through role-playing and breakout sessions.
  • Learn how to create a plan for seeing people and how to maximize the time you spend with them.
  • Learn how to make calling donors and setting up a visit an enjoyable part of your job.
  • See how the best communicators are not good talkers, they are good listeners.
  • Find the story in our donors and tell those stories to others. Joe will discuss ideas to be a better storyteller.
  • See the value of always knowing what will happen next when interacting with others. It takes all the guesswork out of life!

This is Joe’s most popular topic. There is no one out there that presents like he does.



Simple ways to build a sustaining planned giving program

Planned Giving does not have to be complicated. In this program we will look at FIVE key areas that — when simplified — can produce measurable results for all fundraising shops no matter where their planned giving program is currently. The key areas covered:

  1. Simplifying our strategy for pursuing planned gifts.
  2. Simplifying our messaging, how we speak to people about planned giving.
  3. Simplifying the conversation with our donors.
  4. Simple ways to identify and track planned giving opportunities.
  5. Simple marketing ideas

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:

Why don’t more donors make more planned gifts? One reason is that donors and fundraisers find the whole thing so complicated, daunting or time consuming. It’s our job as fundraisers to show donors how simple making a planned gift can be. We know that most planned gifts are the gifts anyone can make (beneficiary designations and appreciated stuff). This presentation will lay out the process of starting OR building a planned giving program in a way that’s simple, manageable, measurable and guaranteed to get results.

Presentation Overview:

The presentation is focused on improving effectiveness in FIVE key areas:

  1. Simplifying our strategy around planned giving. So many fundraisers complain they just don’t have the resources to pursue planned gifts. Joe will reveal practical ways to do more with less. Some fundraisers are afraid to bring it up to donors for fear of being asked a question they won’t be able to answer. Joe will show a simple approach that anyone can use, regardless of his or her experience.
  2. How we message planned giving. What do we say when we pick up the phone to set up a visit with a donor? How do we broach the subject of planned giving? How can we deliver a compelling message that motivates donors to want to learn more?
  3. Simplifying the conversation with the donor. It all starts with a thank you and a simple question of why they are so loyal? Joe will share an outline anyone can use to start a dialogue with the donor. He’ll also cite examples of questions that take the conversation to a much deeper level.
  4. Simple ways to identify and track planned giving opportunities. Loyal giving is a great place to start but it’s not enough. We’ll look at criteria for identifying our best planned giving prospects along with an easy system for tracking our conversations and creating a timeline.
  5. Simple Marketing ideas. Our marketing must be compelling, focused on the donor, and consistent. Joe will share the latest trends and best practices for marketing planned giving.

Regardless of a non-profit’s budget, Joe will share simple tactics that inspire donors to take action.



The key to connecting is adapting

We are all under pressure to do more with less. Less time, resources and dollars. We are under pressure to bring in unrestricted gifts. It’s easy to get so mired in our own agendas that we lose sight of other people’s wants, desires, dreams, and agendas. So much of being more effective in fundraising and developing deeper, more fulfilling relationships, comes down to our ability to adapt to our environment and to the people with whom we interact.

To be truly effective in fundraising, we must develop the ability to quickly adapt to how others take in the world, process information and communicate. How they make decisions, how they like to be cultivated, asked for a gift and stewarded. donate. Developing this skillset will help us connect to donors faster leading to deeper trust. That leads to stronger relationships, more gifts, happy donors and improved lives of those we serve.

Sales and motivation guru once said, “You can have everything you want in life if you will just help enough other people get what they want”. Zig said that many decades ago and it still holds true, especially in today’s fundraising climate were donors are more educated, more demanding and have so many options. Donor Centered Philanthropy is a term that’s thrown around a lot these days. If we are being truly donor centric, then we are helping donors by focusing on their agenda, and letting them tell us what kind of relationship they want with our organization
This requires us to adapt our approach, how we communicate and how we fundraise.

Adapt to Connect explores 3 key areas of adaptation

1) Personalities and Styles

While our donors are all very different, bringing unique life experiences and circumstances to our relationships, they do share common preferences and communication styles. Taken from the Asking Matters Asking Styles program, we explore each of the 4 personality styles that we all possess. While we tend to possess a little of each style, we do have a dominant style that drives so much of how we think, interact and behave.

Extraverted people derive energy from others while introverts derive from within. Analytical people are more fact oriented and Intuitive people tend to be more idea oriented. The first step is to understand our own style and preferences, then to get good at recognizing the styles of our donors, and adapting to put them at ease.

A few examples:
If you are an extrovert and your donor is an introvert, you will want to adjust your approach. You may need to slow down your rate of speech, pause more, speak in a softer tone. Limit the small talk, unless your donor initiates.

If you are intuitive and your donor is more analytic, be prepared to provide her with giving and impact reports. Be overly prepared for meetings.

Joe will help audience members determine their style, how to quickly recognize their donor’s style and adapt to match the donor’s preferences.

2) Generational-Age Preferences

Each generational cohort has its own value system, money concept and preferred method of communication. We must adapt our approach to each generation. Traditionalists are more trusting and are more open to unrestricted gifts while younger donors want unrestricted gifts and insist on seeing the impact of their giving.

Some examples:
Baby boomers and Generation X’rs are busy and may be less likely to spend the time to visit with us face to face. We can give them the option of a 10-minute initial phone call. Who doesn’t have 10 minutes? We must adapt to how our donors want to “do business”. Our job then becomes engaging and building enough trust with the donor to motivate them to agree to a visit.

Millennials will most likely want to be stewarded differently than traditionalist (older) donors. A giving society luncheon at noon on a Wednesday is not likely to pull them in. They may prefer a volunteer event that allows them to interact with the people you serve.

We’ll discuss numerous ways to adapt our fundraising model to accommodate donors of all ages.

3) Unique Donor Preferences

What’s the best way to find out how a donor wants to be treated? Ask them. Sounds like common sense but many donors report that the charity never asks them how they would like to be cultivated, asked for a gift, and thanked for their gift. Donors want to be in control. Yes, we need to stick to our process, but at the same time, adapt our process to how our donors want to experience giving to our organization.

Some examples:
If a donor keeps responding to your voicemails with an email. Stop calling, send them an email.

If a planned giving donor won’t tell you specifically what their planned gift commitment is, stop asking. Instead, steward them like crazy, they’ll be more likely to tell you once you have earned their complete trust.

Adapt to connect includes lots of practical, useful tips like these.

Like all of Joe’s presentations, all attendees will be asked to write down and articulate 3 action steps they will take because of their time spent in the session.

Presentation is available in 60 minute, 90 minute and 3 hour sessions.

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Here is what people are saying about Adapt to Connect

“Adapt to connect is interactive, fast paced, and action oriented. No nodding off or checking emails in Joe’s session.” — Liz, Massachusetts

“Thanks for the high energy, informative key to connecting is adapting session. I already am making changes in my style to implement what I got from your session with my donors and prospects.” — Michael, NYC



Hone your asking skills

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Give everyone the tools and the confidence to ask for a gift. Almost 90% of all gifts come from individuals and the biggest gifts come from asking in person.

If you’re going to fulfill your mission, everyone needs to get out and ask more. But they can’t do it without training.

And everyone needs more training if they’re going to be comfortable and effective askers. You wouldn’t ask staff and board members to work in a counseling center or art studio without training, but you ask them to fundraise without it. Give your staff and board the tools they need.

Asking Matters uses its revolutionary concept of Asking Styles as the basis for a unique half-day in-person training module. Participants learn the power of their own personality and how to apply it to the Five Steps of the Ask.*

Participants learn:

  • Why asking in person matters
  • What their role is – and isn’t
  • Their personal strengths and how to use them
  • Their challenges and how to address them
  • How to choose the best prospects
  • How to make a powerful case for support
  • How to run a strategic meeting and get the gift

* The Five Steps of the Ask is a systematic approach to asking developed by Asking Matters.



Energize your next development or board retreat

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Based on Peter Drucker’s book, The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization, this five-hour workshop, will get your development team thinking and talking about fundraising issues not often articulated.

Typically, fundraising team structure has teams working in their own isolated silos. Team members rarely get a clear insight into how the work they do fits into the overall fundraising picture—and rarely have an opportunity to give their input to the effort.

Successful development and advancement teams work together. They understand how their work fits into the overall fundraising process.

Required reading prior to the workshop, The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization is less than 100 pages long and was originally written for the nonprofit sector. Working with the five questions that Drucker asks in his book, Joe will guide your team through a self-assessment process to determine what your development and advancement team is doing, why the team is doing it, and what must be done to improve team performance and the performance of your organization.

The five questions are:

1) What Is Our Mission?

  • What are we trying to achieve?

2) Who Is Our Customer?

  • Whose life is changed through our work? Donors? Students? Patients? Clients? Your answer affects everything else you do – everything.

3) What Does The Customer Value?

  • What does the customer need and want?
  • Customers value an organization that seeks their feedback, can solve their problems, and satisfy their needs.

4) What Are Our Results?

  • Results equal changed lives and changed conditions in people’s behavior, circumstance, health, hopes, and their competence and capacity.
  • Need alone does not justify continuing. Nor does tradition. You must match your mission, your concentration, and your results.

5) What Is Our Plan?

  • If you have more than five goals, you have none.Goals clarify where you will concentrate resources for results.
  • Goals clarify where you will concentrate resources for results.
  • Goals flow from mission.
  • Goals build on strength, address opportunity, and outline your desired future.