Tips For A Successful Solicitation

Make your own commitment first. The easiest way to bring up the subject of giving is to invite your classmate to join you in making a gift to Middlebury.

Be upfront about why you are calling. State at the beginning of the conversation that you have volunteered to help raise money for your class’ gift to Middlebury. Ask if this is a good time to talk. After making your appeal, you will enjoy catching up with your classmate that much more.

Ask your classmate how they would like to support Middlebury. This opens up the conversation in several directions. They may be interested in supporting a faculty member, a program or department, the arts, athletics, or a student project. Or they may want to make a recurring gift, set up an annuity, or underwrite an internship. The ways to make a gift can often be tailored to individual desires.

If you don’t know the answer, tell them you will find out—then follow through. Contact the Annual Giving office for more information or to have a member of our team follow up with your classmate.

A no does not have to be the end of the conversation. Within every no, there's an opportunity to understand where your classmate is coming from. So ask why someone is saying now. Hear the person out. Most are grateful for the opportunity to express their concerns. (And remember, your classmates are not mad at you.)

Remember, giving makes people feel good about themselves. So enjoy yourself and have fun with your calls. Your enthusiasm will shine through.

Say thank you! Whether your classmate makes a gift or not, thank them for their time and their support. Then send them a thank you note by mail or email.