Many staff in non profits, including Executive Directors, focus on what the organization does and how it does it.

Your donors care more about why.

Mark and I have been training a group of Executive Directors from children’s advocacy groups around the country on individual fundraising.

During one of our day-long workshops, we asked them to pitch us on why we should donate to their non profit. Initially, they responded with strong points about the organizations successes, the challenges they face and their strategic initiatives.

After they finished, we asked them “why do you do that?”

Another round of strong points about the need to strengthen children’s welfare through advocacy so America’s most vulnerable children don’t depend on service-based groups.

After they finished, we asked them “why do you do that?”

This is when things got juicy. We learned about the Executive Director’s passion for the cause; why she started doing this in the first place. We learned about specific children they saw hurting because of bad bills.

By digging into “why” the ED’s shifted from a rational state of mind to an emotional state of mind — and their pitches were more compelling.

Whenever you get stuck, ask yourself “why.” Then ask it again. And again. The deeper you go. The more real you’ll be.