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Recharging by Sharing Discovery Visit Wisdom with ILD Students

18 Dec 2019 1:47 PM | Anonymous

ILD alumna Martine Hyland (2013) recently led a session on discovery visits for the ILD Class of 2020. Martine is a philanthropy director at Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation where she is responsible for managing relationships with approximately 150 major donors and prospects.

"As someone who stumbles through awkward voicemails and drives away from donor meetings saying, “I can’t believe I didn’t ask about…,” I felt uneasy about leading an ILD session on discovery calls.

That was before I understood that I wasn’t supposed to be an expert. I was just supposed to share one gift officer’s experience on the phone and in the field.  Lucky me! I got to spend 2 hours with a group of amazingly talented development professionals and learn from them about what they say on the phone and during visits to build rapport with their donors, uncover their passions, and set next steps.

It was a great opportunity to reflect on my personal successes and failures, learn from my colleagues, and a great reminder of how fun it is to get to know a new prospect and help shape their relationship with my organization.  Just the inspiration I needed to pick up the phone and start building a new relationship – thank you, ILD!"

Martine's favorite thing about discovery visits

I love hearing other people’s stories and hearing them talk about why they support Children’s Hospital Colorado. 

Her key takeways or tips from current ILD students

  • Some shops are putting definitions around how many times to try reaching someone before moving on. For example: you reach out 3 times over the course of 3 months and if there’s no response you move on to the next prospect. I struggle with moving through my discovery prospects, so I found this interesting.
  • One student uses this acronym to help guide the topics/questions he covers in discovery visits:  PBPF (personal, business, philanthropy, follow-up). 
  • Another student looks for opportunities tied to a giving level as a way of assessing capacity. For example, she might talk about a special initiative or event that appeals to alumni but has an ask tied to it.
    Example: “We have an upcoming lecture for alumni who are part of our President’s Circle featuring this well-known Nobel Prize winner. Would you be interested in learning more about how to be a part of our President’s Circle?”

Institute for Leaders in Development at University of Denver | University Hall 301 2197 S. University Blvd. Denver Colorado 80208 | ildcolorado@gmail.com 

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