The fundraiser typically sweats about when the perfect moment is to make “the ask.” It’s a Goldilocks mentality: not too soon, not too late.
Broadly speaking that is right. But not if it means there’s no a sense of purpose.
Meaning: imagine for a moment that you’re the philanthropist. You get emails and calls and invitations from the fundraiser (who could easily be the CEO or the Exec Director) pushing for a meeting. The notes get increasingly urgent. You sense something is in the air, and you take the meeting.
And then the meeting is just chit-chat. It’s the sound of one hand clapping.
You, the philanthropist, discover that their urgency and your urgency don’t meet the same standard. You suspect that there’s a punchline somewhere out there, but you’re feeling less patient about waiting to hear it. You don’t take the next meeting.
This doesn’t mean that you, the fundraiser, greet someone and say, “Nice to meet you Analise, I’m hoping you’ll give us a million dollars.” It does mean being clear about purpose every step of the way.
How you execute on that is up to you.