The following is a guest post written by Brian Saber of Asking Matters.
We know a campaign means all hands on deck. You ramp up for a campaign, allotting tremendous staff and volunteer time to the effort. You bring on a consultant or additional staff. You train everyone. You think about the future.
Now imagine if everyone thought and acted alike and had the same skillset. That wouldn’t work at all, would it?!
Enter the Asking Styles
Andrea Kihlstedt and I developed the Asking Styles to give everyone a roadmap for success. We knew we had to encourage people to ask in their unique way based on their character traits if we wanted them to feel comfortable and be effective askers.
So let’s apply the Asking Styles to campaign work.
The ideal is to have volunteers and staff representing all the Styles working on a campaign. This ensures you’ve got a full range of talents – analytics and intuitives, introverts and extroverts, systems people, big ideas people, and “people” people.
Your Case for Support
A range of Asking Styles builds a strong case for support.
The Rainmaker pushes everyone to accomplish as much as possible. The Go-Getter puts the big ideas on the table. The Kindred Spirit ensures the case has heart, and the Mission Controller puts everything together so it makes sense.
The analytics make certain the case is based in fact, planning, and measurable outcomes, while the intuitives make certain the story resonates and aligns with the vision of the organization. Together you get impact described through moving stories and the quantitative results — a powerful combination.
Running Your Campaign
You certainly need a variety of strengths to run a successful campaign.
Imagine, for instance, if all you had were Go-Getters. You’d have incredible ideas with no one on board to move things along methodically (Mission Controllers) and strategically (Rainmakers)!
If all you had were introverted Mission Controllers and Kindred Spirits, who would enthusiastically go out to build new relationships?
And what would you do without Kindred Spirits, who keep everyone moving along collegially — and assure donors’ needs are being met?
Yes, it takes a village!
Making Strong Asking Teams
Fundraisers often fret about needing to tell the donor what the donor wants to know. First, you often won’t know your donor well enough in advance of meeting to prepare for their questions — even in a campaign. Second, what’s most important is to be authentic to who you are.
Having said that, when you partner with a complementary Style you don’t have to worry about this at all.
For example, let’s pair a Rainmaker and a Kindred Spirit. If your donor is analytic and wants to talk about outcomes measurements, and goals, the Rainmaker can take charge. If your donor is intuitive and is moved by participant stories, enter the Kindred Spirit.
Complementary Styles work together beautifully
Complementary Styles provide a roadmap in terms of the rhythm of the meeting.
The Rainmaker is more likely to take charge of the meeting and is generally more comfortable at the top as everyone’s getting settled in. And the Rainmaker is also more likely to ask probing questions.
This allows the Kindred Spirit to be the key listener, watching the meeting unfold, being sensitive to the donor’s needs, and inserting strategic questions to steer the conversation when needed. What a great pair!
Even when it comes time to ask, the Kindred Spirit’s reticence will balance out the Rainmaker’s impatience, and between the two chances are the ask will come at the appropriate time.
Campaigns are complex, high-stakes projects that take a wide range of skillsets. As you can see, If you’ve got all the Asking Styles well-represented on your leadership and solicitation teams, chances are you’ve got all those skillsets covered. And if you’ve got all the skillsets covered, you’ll be fast on your way to a successful campaign.
Find your Asking Style
Learn your Asking Style at AskingMatters.com. Take the Asking Style assessment in under 3 minutes and you’ll get the results immediately.