The Language, Principles, and Variations of Good Donation Conversations

This 2-day donation workshop organizes the best practices of face-to-face requests into 16 principles and provides specific instruction on how to operationalize those principles in conversations. For instance, Principle # 2 is Establish Rapport. That principle is broken into sub-principles (eliciting their story, exploring their concerns, empathizing, and normalizing). Sample wording is provided for each. All 16 principles are covered on the first day of the workshop and some are embedded with mini-role plays.

Some of the principles diverge from what has become common practice in some parts of the U.S. For instance, Principle # 4 is Make it about the FAMILY, not the donor. But the decision is now so commonly framed as the potential donor’s that many coordinators don’t even recognize they are doing this or understand how it sets up refusals. This shift in framing takes both instruction and processing time.

The second day is devoted to role-playing and to particulars of the conversation that can’t be taught didactically. Often, time is spent on un-learning common practices that lose donations, e.g. asking permission to give information, ignoring concerns that are expressed more than once, and leaving too soon when families are in disagreement. Always, there are practice opportunities for correctly framing ownership of the decision, giving information, and questioning.

Because adults learn so much from each other and from seeing behaviors modeled, we think this workshop is best offered to a group of 13-24 participants from more than one organization in a two-day format with two instructors as it allows for the instructors to vary stimulation by team teaching and provides more opportunities for modeling, which is a powerful instructional technique. However, we also offer it in a two-day format for 6-12 participants with one instructor. Some of our clients prefer that option because it is less expensive. Whatever your preference, we will send instructions for putting on the workshop when you book.


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