August 16, 2013

We're Not Selling Lemons...

When asking another person to make a gift to a Capital Campaign, story telling isn`t just a powerful tool---it’s a gift we provide one another. Often the person making the invitation is surprised at how easily their story of connection/belonging/transformation pours out and shapes the conversation.

The reason is simple: you aren`t selling a used car. Instead, you are talking about a community, a church home, that you care about. 

Leslie Pendleton, Capital Campaign Consultant, tells the following:

“My first advance gift training was with a group of 5 retired professional men. They were reluctant to meet as their time was limited and they were confident they had the skills necessary to complete their invitations.

"I told them yes, it was absolutely necessary to gather to talk about how to ask for advance gifts even though they knew how to do it already. They finally decided they’d give me an hour but then had to get on with their day. Once gathered I managed to get them to put off talking about the logistics and “how to’s” (at great risk to “wasting” their time). Instead I asked them “What brought you here? Why would you give up your time to ask fellow parishioners to give to the capital campaign? And what would you miss if your church disappeared tomorrow?”

"After a minor pause each man began to share his story profoundly and confidently. I was awed as time passed quickly. I told them they were done: “Make your calls and share your story. Ask them to share their story with you.”

When is the last time you`ve told your story or articulated what you love about your parish? If what keeps you there is special, why wouldn`t you want others to know?