It's not all in the numbers
• Determining the most appropriate person to cultivate/solicit a prospect
• Identifying conversational starting points, letting the development officer know what to expect
• Deciding which of your organization’s progams is most likely to interest the prospect
• Making up invitation lists, based on an individual’s preferences and connections
When incorporating these into a profile or memo, I find a judicious use of quotation is preferable, since the information is secondhand at best. Conveying useful information while maintaining a respectful objectivity can be a writing challenge.
“Words used to describe Mr. High-Tech-Executive include “flamboyant,” “arrogant,” and “brilliant.” He is chronically late to appointments. In January 2002, the Times wrote “He typifies the extremes of the technology industry, its wealth, brilliance and speed as well as its ego, hype and ruthlessness.”
The development officer who is meeting Mr. High-Tech-Exec now understands that being kept waiting for an hour and being repeatedly interrupted doesn’t mean the fundraising relationship has no chance. He’s like this with everyone. The DOalso knows not to schedule another appointment immediately after Mr. H-T-E, because of the chronic lateness factor.
What sorts of “personal” details do you think are important to include? How do you handle these details tactfully? Please comment at the link below!