Cause Selling Series

Date and Time

  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020
  • 9am - 4pm
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  • John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill Campus

Module I: Prospecting and Pre-Approach


Prospecting is the skill that keeps fundraisers and their nonprofit organizations in business. In this module you will learn the different ways of identifying prospects and determining which potentials truly have a desire to give, have the financial capacity to make a meaningful gift, and are in a position to make a donation decision.


Pre-approach is an extension of prospecting that entails your first contact with prospective donors. This section will discuss the process of gathering the information you need to skillfully reach out to your prospects and arrange pre-ask meetings that successfully lead to presentations.

Module II: Approach and Discovery


Your presentation of yourself and what you say when you meet someone for the first time can either build trust or discourage relationship building. The Approach section of the Cause Selling Cycle focuses on how to make the right first impression in your face-to-face interaction with prospective donors. We will look at greetings, engagement, non-verbal cues, and varieties of approach.

Need Discovery

Need discovery is the heart of Cause Selling because it allows you to uncover a donor’s underlying motivations, needs, and priorities. It also lays the groundwork for creating a presentation and making the ask from a donor-centric lens. This section will demonstrate effective strategies for asking questions, listening effectively, and understanding how to put
the information gathered to use.

Module III: Presentation and Handling Objections


The quality of your presentation can mean the difference between championing your cause successfully or leaving without securing a donor’s commitment. This section will focus on how to properly plan for a face-to-face presentation that builds your prospective donor’s conviction in your cause, addresses their unmet needs, generates dialogue and engagement, and establishes a lasting emotional connection.

Handling Objections

Objections are part of the process but they are not necessarily valid reasons why one should give up. This section offers a plan for dealing with resistance and using objection as an opportunity to uncover hidden concerns. You will learn to develop a positive attitude toward
objections and show empathy and sensitivity toward donors as they wrestle with their own internal decisions.

Module IV: The Ask and Stewardship

The Ask

Making the ask is one of the most dreaded activities for many fundraisers. Cause Selling offers a positive and productive perspective. This section will highlight the function of the ask in the Cause Selling process, the elements of a successful ask, and techniques for presentation of the ask. Post-ask action steps will also be discussed.


The way we follow-up with donors after they make a gift is as important, or perhaps even more important, than the gift itself. This section will explore what it takes to retain and win back donors and look at strategies for developing a stewardship plan that keeps all levels of donors involved, inspired, and loyal to your cause.

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