The Asking Conversation: What to say when you ask for money and when to say it, with Andrea Kihlstedt

Andrea Kihlstedt, Faculty of The Nonprofit Academy

Ever worry that you won’t know what to do when you get in the room with a donor? This session will give you a model so you’ll never worry about that again. Learn to ask in a way that’ll get you what you want!

Whether you ask a donor for money or your partner to take you out for dinner, the structure of your ask is the same. In this session, you’ll learn a simple, easy-to-remember-structure for asking that’ll make your donors (and your partner) want to say YES.

A seasoned campaign fundraiser and trainer, Andrea will guide you through a six-step conversation model that’s based on sound psychological principles.

You’ll learn how to

  • Talk less and listen more.
  • Draw your donor into a real conversation
  • Ask for gifts that your donors want to give.

Once you try out Andrea’s simple six-step model, you’ll never again have to wonder how to ask.

Note: This model works for getting many things you want in life...a raise, new job, a date, a steak dinner. As an added bonus, you’ll learn how to use the model to get other things you want.

Additional Materials for The Asking Conversation

Download the audio here: The Asking Conversation MP3

Download the slides here: The Asking Conversation Slides

You can learn more about Andrea and her work at:
CapitalCampaignMagic.com and AndreaKihlstedt.com

Transcript of The Asking Conversation

Marc: Well, hello everyone. Welcome to the latest edition of NPA Presents. I am thrilled today to have as my guest Andrea Kihlstedt. Andrea and I have interacted for a while now, for a few years. And I just love her take on the world and her experience and depth of knowledge in fundraising. And I know that you're gonna have an amazing time as she walks through what we call and she calls the asking conversation. Every day I have people ask me, "Exactly what should I say, in how much time should I say it, and how should I say it during the ask?" And most of all of our training talks about how to ask for money, how to be quiet, and how to handle rejections. But Andrea takes a pretty different approach.

Just some ground rules before we get into it. Questions and answers. If you're viewing online, you have a question and answer box right there on the screen. Feel free to type in any question. You don't have to type in the answers, unless we ask you a question I suppose. But type in any question you have during the conversation. During the training I will filter those and either choose to ask her while she's presenting, or at the end. We'll save some time for questions and answers then. You can also tweet with the #NPA Presents that you see on the screen, and I'll be monitoring that as well. And what I'd strongly encourage you to do, write this down now, and do this after the training. Go to capitalcampaignmagic.com and check out Andrea's work there and sign up for her newsletter.

But as Andrea likes to say, she's got her own personal blog at andreakihlstedt.com, and it gives you a real fun look into, I believe the word she used was "quirky," her quirky take on life. And it's just definitely worthwhile reading. So you can go to andreakihlstedt.com as well, and the spelling is right on the screen. I don't want to take up more of your time, so take it away, Andrea. Thank you so much for being here.

Andrea: Thank you, Marc. It's a pleasure to be here with you and your community. What a treat to have a new group of people to talk with and to talk to. I'm happy you're here because this is really one of my favorite topics. I have been working on this material, I'll bet, for 10 years now, little by little, in various and sundry ways. And you know, gradually, over time, ideas get clearer. And I've gotten to the place with this material where I think the ideas are actually quite simple. Now, of course, that's pretty funny because it's taken me 10 years to get them that way. But I hope to share with you one of the simple ideas that I've come up with about the asking conversation. What to say when you ask for money, and when to say it.

And Marc is right. It's really quite a different take on asking than pretty much anything I've read, though I think it accomplishes perhaps even more than the standard ways in which we think about asking. Before I dive into the asking conversation, I want to start with this, fire! Did that give you a jolt of adrenaline? If I yelled fire in a crowded room it would give you a jolt of adrenaline. And what would be happening is that your lizard brain would be triggering like mad. And I believe that each one of us, in fact I know that each one of us has a piece of our brain that is wired to respond to danger. It's wired to trigger the sense of anxiety, this jolt of adrenaline, when something is out there that we think might be bad for us.

Now I've developed this little image of a lizard brain just to make it very real. And I think it's really important for you to understand your lizard brain and how it works, because it comes up in fundraising all the time. It will come up with you when you are a solicitor. Those are all the lizard brain triggers and gives you all the reasons you shouldn't be sitting down and calling your donors, or going to ask them for money. That chatter that you hear in the back of your mind about being too busy, too this, too many things to do, don't know enough, can't talk to that donor. All of that is your little lizard brain. And if you're a reasonably well-balanced person, and I assume all of you are, you also have in you, in your brain, a lion heart. Right?

That's the part of you that wants to reach out, that wants to connect with other people, that wants to take a risk by extending your hand even if you're not quite sure that the other person is going to take it. That's your lion heart. And these two characters, these two internal characters, which I think about a lot, frankly. I think because they apply to most everything we do. But these two characters, while you may think of them as stuck in some kind of a locked battle with each other in your mind, are really on a very delicately balanced teeter-totter, or seesaw. Marc, you have young kids, Do they still call it a teeter-totter? No? Seesaw? I don't know.

Marc: Probably a seesaw, yes.

Andrea: I'm getting old.

Marc: My second child calls it a lever and fulcrum now.

Andrea: A lever and fulcrum. Holy mackerel! But the point here, and I think it's a really, really important point, probably more important than anything else I'm gonna say to you today. The point here is that embedded in each of us is a part of our mind that responds to things that might cause us damage or danger. That red lizard heart responds very quickly because it keeps us safe. It's important. But it is also balanced, often quite equally balanced, by the part of us that is courageous and wants to reach out. And all it takes to trigger one or the other is just a little thumb on one side or the other to balance it. So keep that image in mind as we go. I'm gonna bring this up again and again through this conversation. But realize that not only are you triggered by lizard brain and lion heart as you get ready to solicit gifts and not only are you wrestling with that balance, but each of your donors is wrestling with the same balance as well. And it takes very little to trigger one side of that or the other side of that. This is the underlying fabric, or subject, psychological subject matter that we're dealing with when we ask people for money.
So I should tell you, by the way, that while I've been talking about lizard brain for a long time, I'm not the only person who does and I don't want to take credit for it entirely. People like Seth Godin and a bunch of other business writers talk about lizard brain as well. They tend to position lizard brain as though it's something that needs to be killed off, and I don't believe that. I think it's a really important part of who we are. I think we're always functioning with this fulcrum, with this teeter-totter, this delicate balance. So that sets the stage for what it is I'm gonna talk to about asking. And perhaps you will find these images useful in your life, in things other than fundraising as well.

Now, the asking part. The fundraising part of what we're gonna talk about today is the asking process. Now I assume that most of you are somewhat experienced with fundraising. And you know that asking fits into a larger set of activities. We have to first select the prospects, then we have to learn about them and do our research and figure out what it is we're going to be asking them for. That's the "prepare to meet." Then we schedule the meeting. Then we have the meeting. And then we follow through on the meeting. So it's sort of a five part process. And of course this entire process is embedded in a much larger process of the whole fundraising cycle. Right? Identifying donors, stewarding donors, cultivating donors, researching. All that stuff is a big cycle, and this just fits into part of it. What we're gonna talk about today are just numbers three and four. Scheduling meetings and actually what's gonna happen in the meeting.

Okay, let me start with scheduling the meeting, with setting up the visit. Now, let me say that I think, in fact, this part of the fundraising process is the most difficult part. For a variety of reasons, it's the most difficult part. First of all, if you manage to schedule meetings, then you actually will have those meetings or you're highly likely to have those meetings, unless your lizard brain is so active that you get sick. Once the meeting is scheduled, chances are pretty good you're gonna get there and have the conversation. So the die is cast, and you are on your way. Your lizard brain is likely to booby trap you even more when it comes to scheduling the meeting, setting up the visit, than it will when you actually get into the visit. Here's what I suggest, let's say you've identified a donor and you're ready to go and talk to them. I encourage you to begin the process by sending them either a letter or an email. Email does fine. You know it used to be that we only sent letters. If you send someone a real letter, a real signed letter, these days it has a little more weight because we get so few letters in the mail, frankly. Right? We've really shifted the way we communicate.

Marc: It's pretty remarkable. You're right.

Andrea: Isn't it amazing? I mean, 5, 10 years ago we wouldn't have even talked about email. But today, we can do a lot on email and people expect it. It's a different kind of communication. We have to be much shorter, much crisper. We have to pay attention to the subject lines to be sure people will open the emails and know that it's a personal email. So there's a lot to know about that that I won't go into today. But what I want you to say in the letter is something like this: "Dear Marc, I'd really like to schedule a time when I can come and see you to talk to you about my organization and to find out your interests." Right now, if you know you're gonna be asking for a gift at this meeting, and you may or may not know that for sure, then you will want to mention that. "I'd like to schedule a time to come and talk to you about your gift to the Annual Fund." Right?

Marc: You come right out and say that?

Andrea: Absolutely. So why do I come right out and say that? Well, first of all I don't say it if I'm not sure I'm gonna ask for a gift. But if I'm sure, number one, I don't wanna booby trap people. I don't wanna go in under false pretenses. And number two, if they're really not gonna see me, if they really don't wanna see me, I'd much rather find out before I spend the time going in and talking to them about their children and then switching gears, and then finding they don't wanna have that conversation. So my time is tremendously valuable. And all of you on this call, your time is best spent with donors, and with donors who have an interest in your organization. So this is as good a time to screen out the ones who don't as anything. Even if you send out 10 emails and 4 of those people really don't wanna see you, right? Just turn you off, shut you off at the pass? That's fine. That frees up your time to find four more who do. Right? This is a numbers game. And just because they said they don't want to see you because of an email or a letter doesn't mean that you've ended the relationship. It just means that they don't wanna deepen the relationship. That's fine.

Once you've sent your email, at the end of your email or your letter, I would say, "I'll call you next week to schedule a time." So I would try to move it from email to telephone. You really want to have a conversation about that. Now, with some people, if it's a no-brainer that they're gonna meet with you, then you would actually schedule it on email. But for people where they're not quite so sure, you're gonna want to have a conversation. So you schedule the call. "Can I call you next week at four o'clock? It will just take a few minutes for us to figure this out." Alright, at the appointed time, you actually call, of course. Right? You've gotten their telephone number, you've confirmed it. You might even send a little confirming email that morning, saying, "Marc, just confirming that I'm gonna call you at four o'clock this afternoon. Looking forward to it." Send it off.

Now, you actually get the person on the phone. So what's gonna happen? On the telephone, when you're trying to schedule a meeting is when you're going to get objections. That's when the donor's lizard brain is gonna kick in. Right? We know that. They're gonna have a bunch of things to say. And I'll talk about those more in a second. But you want to persist. You want to gently persist once, maybe even twice. And once they agree to meet with you, you want to confirm the time and the location. Alright.

Marc: Now let me just ask you. Hold on, before we handle the objections. What I didn't say in your introduction, and I'm so excited about this content, I totally neglected to say that Andrea is the creator of asking styles, and the whole idea that, when I wrote "Ask Without Fear" I was talking about different personalities and different approaches. But I never broke it down to anywhere near the detail you did. And you were the first person that helped me to see that writing a letter or sending an email is not a cop-out necessarily to set up a meeting. It's legitimate, particularly for introverts, because they tend to get to think when they write. As opposed to extroverts that, what, you can think before you speak? I never knew that. I don't even know what.. I was laughing with somebody. My daughter. We have one other extrovert in the house and I was a little annoyed because I could see where her pathway was going, whether she'd verbalize things. And it took me until about last year to realize, oh, no wonder she gets offended when I cut her off because she hasn't thought it yet. She hasn't it thought it yet. She hasn't said it so she hasn't thought it.

Andrea: Right, she's figuring it out as she talks. Yes, I always used to laugh when I worked with asking styles material, that extroverts talk to think, and introverts think to talk.

Marc: Yes. Okay so I'm looking at this setting up the meeting, email or letter, or by a call. That sounds to me very introvert-focused, or very comfortable for introverts. Would you recommend it for extroverts as well?

Andrea: You know, I would. So here's why. Introverts need something like this because they want to think carefully in advance. Extroverts need something like this because, for 10 things extroverts want to do, they're gonna forget about them before they actually get around to doing them. Right? So this is an organizing tool for extroverts. It's a thinking tool for introverts. And if you, if some of the people on this call are organizing a bunch of volunteers going out to schedule appointments, you can even be sending out the letters or emails saying, "My board chair," whatever the board chair's name, "is gonna be calling you to schedule an appointment." Then you send a copy to the board chair and a copy to the donor. Guess what? You've twisted the board chair's arm a little, so you know he's gonna follow through. Right? So it serves a good purpose there also. I think it's worth spending some time on this setup. Again, I totally believe that if people really don't want to meet with you, you want to find out now. You don't want to waste your time. Right? Who wants to waste time with unsuccessful visits? No one. By the time someone has said they're gonna meet with you and that you've gone through this process and they say yes, you're gonna get a gift of some sort. So now your lizard brain's gonna get quieter. Your lion heart's gonna perk up and say, "Oh, we got something good here. Let's do this."

Marc: Great. So you wanted to talk about handling objections. Let's do that.

Andrea: Yes, let's talk about about objections. I do have a little to say, and I have to be careful because I have much more to say on the big subject here. So, handling objections. I just kind of did a riff in this little list about the kinds of objections. Are these the kinds of objections you'd expect, Marc? Is this what you get?

Marc: Oh yes.

Andrea: No time, too busy, no need to meet, I'll send the check, right? I've got some other big expenses.

Marc: I've got to wash my hair.

Andrea: Yes, I've got to wash my hair, I have to put a roof on my house, right? I've got too many kids in college. You know, it's like all these things. These are gonna come out, right? And you don't need to take them too seriously, right? I mean, you have to acknowledge them, but understand that all that's really happening is that you are pushing your donor a little. And his or her lizard brain is chattering. So this kind of chatter is the same kind of chatter you hear when you try to get yourself to sit down on the telephone and make these bloody calls. Right? I'm too busy, right? I can't do it now, it's not a good time. I don't know enough. The donor's not gonna be home.

Marc: I'm bugging them.

Andrea: I'm bugging them. All of that, this is just lizard brain chatter. Right? Mostly, it's just lizard brain chatter. So, here's a really standard sales approach to how to handle objections. And I found it actually works pretty well. I did not make it up. It comes out of sales. Maybe you know who made it up, Marc, but I don't know.

Marc: I think I heard it in Dale Carnegie's books. Yes, definitely Dale.

Andrea: Yes, probably. So it's the three F's. Feel, Felt, Found. Feel. I understand how you feel. You say I'm too busy. Right? Marc says, "I'm too busy, Andrea." Marc, I understand how you feel. I am way over my head too. That's the felt part. Right? I felt that too. I'm way over my head. You can't imagine the list of stuff on my desk. But I've found that if I sit down with people to really talk about this organization, and to understand their interests and their values, that it really is helpful to both you and me. And then we actually have a really good time. I get to know you better. You get to know me better. And we get to figure out whether there's something you wanna do with this organization. Right? Feel, felt, found.

Marc: Oh, alright.

Andrea: Oh, alright. Thanks, Marc. Next week. Next Tuesday, 12 o'clock, right?

Marc: Sounds good.

Andrea: So the reason this works is because you start by understanding. Right? You don't say, "Well, you know what, don't tell me you're too busy." Start by saying, "Yes, I get that you're too busy." Then you sympathize. "Yes, I'm way too busy too." But even so, I've found that it really makes a difference to sit down and talk to people.

Marc: So one of the things that's interesting is one of the very first trainings that I ever had in fundraising was the phrase that I still teach to this day, I can appreciate that. And I usually use it on the other end of the objections, but even here, it's not so much using the exact words. Because if you feel, felt, found on the persons in sales, they're gonna smell you out. But it's the heartfelt like you did. Oh, yes, we are also busy. I totally get that. This cause is really important or the timing is really good, or I found I learn a lot by talking to people, or Joey just told me this and when I met with Joey she said it was a much better meeting than she expected. And yes, that's really good. So thank you. I like it. Feel, felt, found.

Andrea: So this just kinda gets you into the subject matter, right? We've now talked about lizard brain, lion heart. We've talked about being persistent in setting up the calls, both with your own resistance, yourself, and with the people you talk to. And if you persist once, or you persist twice, what you'll find is that either they will or they won't come around. If they don't come around, that's fine, right? Let them go, right? You don't wanna be totally obnoxious unless there's a real reason to be obnoxious. By the way, on the Andrea Kihlstedt blog I have a couple of really good posts about persistence that are interesting and funny. So if you go to my website and search under persistence, you'll find a couple of really good posts.

So let's move on. Now let's say we're in the room. Marc and I are actually sitting down in the room, and I'm getting ready to talk to him about this organization I'm a part of. So, because we are actually sitting together, looking at one another face to face, that by itself triggers some oxytocin, which is the drug of lion heart. That's the lion heart drug. Adrenaline is the lizard brain drug. Oxytocin is the lion heart drug. And when you are in the room with people, talking to them, looking at them, touching them, your oxytocin quite naturally starts. Your lizard brain will recede a little. Your lion heart will come forward a little. And that's a good place to start a conversation. So when you are in the meeting, you are at the beginning of what I call an intentional conversation.

Asking is an intentional conversation. It's a conversation you go into, from the beginning, as the solicitor, wanting to move someone from here to there. Right? Here is wherever they happen to be about the organization. And there is, your intention is to move them to become donors or to move them to become bigger donors. And you go into that meeting with that intention. Now, asking is only one of a large class of intentional conversations, and we'll get to a couple of others later in this session. But any conversation where you are trying to move people from place A to place B, from here to there, is an intentional conversation. And it gives you a very specific role. Now, one of the things that we worry most about when we get setting up meetings and actually walking into a meeting, an actual meeting, to talk about a gift, the biggest worry ...

Marc: So funny, I've been doing this for 20 years and my lizard brain is still going, "That's when you say that." The adrenaline is pumping already.

Andrea: Here's what it is you're worried about. Right? You're worried that you're gonna be in there. You're gonna start pitching your organization, and you're gonna look up, and this is what you're gonna see. Right?

Marc: They need to drink a little more of that coffee.

Andrea: Dead stares. Oh my god, glazed over eyes, and dead stares. And there is nothing worse. There is nothing that feels worse than that. Right? Nothing. Very few things feel worse than that. What you really want is for it to look like this. Right? Doesn't that get your oxytocin flowing?

Marc: Yes.

Andrea: And doesn't this get your lizard brain triggering like mad? Oh my goodness. This is not good. Now the funny thing that happens is that when you're in a room talking to donors, and this is what they look like, or you see them do a surreptitious glance at their watch, right, which also happens? Nine people out of 10, 9 solicitors out of 10, respond to that by talking more. And of course, it's exactly what they shouldn't be doing. But boy is it hard to stop yourself midstream and say, "Oh, Mary and Sam, I can see that what I'm saying is just not working for you. Let me stop and find out where you are on this project." Right? That's what you should say. And if you say that, their hands will come down. Their eyes will get lively. They'll take it over and they'll guide you about where to go. But you know what, in my experience it's super difficult for people to do that. We tend to think, "We'll just talk more. Maybe I'll find the right thing to say that's gonna wake them up." So what I have here for you, and really the rest of our time together, is going to be a system. A way of thinking about what to say when you actually get in the room soliciting a gift that is gonna keep you from making people's eyes glaze over. It's gonna keep you from creating what I refer to as a wall of words. And believe me, it takes no time to create a wall of words.

Marc: You know what, I just had a client tell me that he's told his boss, every time his boss hears himself saying "and," he's trying to create that as a trigger to shut up, to take a breath. But he does. It's a wall of words, yes.

Andrea: It's a wall of words. When I told you in the beginning that it's taken me 10 years to figure this stuff out, it's because it's more than just taking a breath or shutting up. In this field, that is the solution. We tell people listen more, talk less, just shut up. Right? That's what we say to people. The fact is that that's like telling alcoholics to stop drinking. Right? It's like, "Alright. That and 50 cents will buy you a cup of coffee." Right? It doesn't work. So we need a different model. We need a different way to think about the asking conversation. And that's what I have come up with here. Here is the six-part pattern for intentional conversations. Now, the little black arrows show you that you move from one slice. I think of this as a pizza. You move from from one slice of this pizza to the next. Right? So it begins on the left and it moves around to the right. And I'm gonna go through each of these slices, so don't worry. I'm not just gonna leave you with this.

Your role in this conversation is both as a participant and as the conductor of the conversation. You see these little arrows that go from one segment to another, these little arced arrows? Those arced arrows are shorthand for saying that it's your job to both participate in the segments and to move the conversation from one place to another, from one segment to another. Now, all I've really done in these 10 years of thinking is to pull apart a pretty normal conversation, a pretty standard conversation, that you would be likely to do naturally if you could get over your anxieties and fears. Right? I haven't created anything new. I've just said let's look at how we really have a constructive conversation and let's understand why it works. And that, I think, is the power of this. Because, as you'll see by the end, this conversation feels perfectly normal once you understand how it works and how to do it.

Okay. Let's dive in. First segment, settle. Now, there's a reason that we talk about letting the dust settle, and that's really what this is. This is the beginning of a conversation and I know you've all done this. When you get into a meeting, you don't just sit down and start talking. You find something to chitchat about. It might be the weather. It might be how bad the traffic was. It might be the pictures on the wall of their children or maybe a sailboat on the desk. You're gonna chitchat about something that is quite insignificant, and you're gonna do it for two minutes, three minutes, five minutes. You're gonna do it until you can feel both your attention come into the room, and your donor's attention come into the room. Because just as you've come in rattled with the lousy traffic or the parking ticket or whatever it was, or your screaming kid at home or whatever was on your mind, that's also what's happening with your donor. They will have come in with their own particular set of experiences that they need to leave behind in order for you to really be talking and hearing one another. So that's all that's happening. It's what I call settling.

Marc: That's really interesting, because I didn't grow up in this kind of church service, but I know in the Episcopal church, they have the beginning of the service, the liturgy is considered a collect, where it collects everybody from being individuals to being a group. It's a preparation.

Andrea: Oh, how interesting.

Marc: And it's totally settling. But that's what you do in yours, too. Wow. That's pretty cool.

Andrea: So again, what you'll see in this pattern is something. All I've done is to pull out into the pieces of a conversation that works. That's the remarkable part about it. Right? There's nothing new. You know how to settle. Maybe you didn't realize that's what you were doing, and maybe you didn't realize that you were waiting until it felt like you had come together with the other person. And then you're ready to move on. Alright, now, you're the conductor, so when you move on, you might move on by saying something like, "Shall we get to work? Or shall we get down to it?" Right? That's really a meta-question. All it does is to signal the other person that you're gonna stop doing chitchat. You're gonna stop the small talk, and you're gonna start doing the agenda that you had set out in advance. Right? Simple. And you can find whatever language works for you. I've just put these as examples of what you might do. So you're gonna say, "Shall we get to work?" Everybody kind of nods. Maybe the other person doesn't even respond. It's just a signal, like a conductor's signal, you know, like a conductor's downbeat. Here we go. Alright. Your job in the next section here ...

Marc: Wait. Okay. What happens in the confirm stage? Part of what I find powerful in setting up the meeting appropriately and well is that the donor will get you, if you start going off on this verbal diarrhea tangent because you're afraid of asking for money and you know where the conversation is supposed to go but you don't wanna get it there. If you set it up well, the donor will eventually do the confirm.

Andrea: Move it, yes. But I would rather you as the solicitor moves it.

Marc: Oh, of course.

Andrea: If the donor moves it, you haven't been doing your job.

Marc: Oh, I get that. That's not my question. I would never teach that, no. So, can it be a clue to yourself when you hear the donor say, "Well, didn't you want to talk to me about the school? Or didn't you wanna talk to me about the organization?"

Andrea: That certainly is the clue and what happens then is that the donor has moved it. And that's okay. But I wouldn't like you as the solicitor to see yourself as the conductor of the conversation. If the donor does it, then you need to grab onto that and say, oh, yes. The donor's telling me that they are settled. It's time to confirm.

Marc: Okay.

Andrea: And then it's your job to say, "Yes. We are here to talk about the animal shelter." Right, of which you're on the board? "When we set up this meeting, we set it up for 45 minutes. Does that still work for you?" Right? So you're confirming two things. Now, many a gift has been lost because you didn't take a moment to confirm those things. You didn't get the conversation on track early, and you didn't double check the time. Right? So it may be that something has come up and the donor only has 20 minutes instead of half an hour or an hour. You wanna know that right now, and this puts you all on the same page. It's like, yes, we have until 1 o'clock and we're here to talk about your gift to the such and such. Simple. Or whatever the purpose was that you set out in advance. This doesn't take any time at all, but it's your job as the solicitor to confirm. Alright. Now we move to explore. Now this is interesting, what many people would move to naturally in another model of asking is presentation. Right? "I'm here to talk to you about the hospice. We have 20 minutes? Well let me tell you what we're doing." And I advise you not to do that.

Marc: Amen.

Andrea: I advise you to come prepared, asking questions. And what are the questions so you might want to move to the first explore at the end of the confirm by saying, "Before I start telling you what we're up to, let me ask you some questions." And that moves the conversation. So, alright. What are the questions? The questions explore what I call the intersecting interests between the donor and the organization. And I would encourage you, if you are going to prepare for this visit, prepare questions. They should be open-ended questions, not closed-ended questions. And they should be genuine. So it might be something like, "Marc, I saw you at the gala the other night. What did you think about the video? Did it touch you?" Right? Now, that's actually a closed-ended question, but it opens the door. It might even be, "I saw you at the gala? Were there things that really jumped out to you? Or what things really jumped out to you?" That's really an open-ended question. "What things stood out to you at the gala?"

It doesn't have to be about the gala, obviously. It can be, "I am looking at your file to get ready for this call. I see that you have given to this organization every year for the past 10 years. I'm really knocked out by that. What is it that keeps drawing you to this organization?" I mean, that's a really good question. It means that I have looked. I have done my homework. I see that you're committed. I may know something about your being committed, but I bet there's stuff you'd be happy to tell me. So your job, and really your most important job, is to really consider what kinds of questions can you ask the donor, that you are genuinely curious about that will get them talking about their relationship to your institution. Now, that's gonna open the door for the donor. This is not a time for you to talk. It's a time for them to talk. And your conversation here is going to feed on what it is they tell you. Eventually, and it may take 5 minutes or 20 minutes ...

Marc: Is that why it's bigger than the other ones, because it takes more time?

Andrea: Yes. Both of the explores are bigger. And we'll get the time in just a couple minutes here. Eventually you're going to get a sense of what the donor's interest in your organization is, what specific interest it is they might have. And that's gonna lead you to the ask, which is the only time you get to make a mini, mini, mini lecture. And I encourage you not to make it more than 120 seconds. Right? So you might say something like, "You know, hearing you talk, I think that you might be interested in considering a gift to this or that program." I mean, it might be as simple as that. It might take no more time than that. Or you might say, "You know, we're getting ready to buy a new truck so that we can do more spay and neutering out in the burrows. And you're really interested in the spaying and neutering program. Is this something that might interest you?" And you're gonna end that by saying, or you may end it by saying, "Would you consider a gift to our new truck?" You might say, "Would you consider a gift of 10,000 dollars to the new truck?" Right? If you're confident that you know what the donor wants to do, and you've thought in advance about what the ask should be in the context of their giving and their wealth, this is where you would make an ask. And as Marc knows, asks are always stronger when you ask for a specific amount.

Marc: Exactly.

Andrea: Now, you may get to this place and find that this donor is not ready for an ask. And that's fine. You can then use this asking segment to explore further interests. I would love to give you a tour of the facility. I'd love to introduce you to our director." That's gonna be your next step. So that would be your ask rather than the ask of a gift. So you go in ready to make an ask of a gift, but if it's clear from the conversation that that's not where you should be going, you can have other things that you're gonna be asking for at that moment. Then, of course, you are going to wait for them to respond. It's only polite. And I frankly never like to say "Shut up" after you ask. It sounds so disrespectful to me. To me the respect is, I've asked you a question and of course we are polite human beings, I'm gonna wait for the answer. So, will you consider a gift of X? "Marc, would you consider a gift of 10,000 dollars to help us with a new van for our spay-neuter program?"

Marc: I'm just letting the lizard brain react.

Andrea: I know. I'm gonna wait as long as it takes, Marc, to respond.

Marc: Well, and so on the shut up moment. I say shut up only to remind myself because, as a verbal extrovert, I don't. But I think it is totally respectful to just let the person process. You've just asked them to take action, and they just need to really thoughtfully give it consideration. And they'll let you know when they're done processing by talking.

Andrea: Marc, I should say that I wasn't trying to dump on you about shut up. It is the word that people in this business use when they talk about soliciting, and every time, it's like scratching on a blackboard for me.

Marc: It makes you cringe?

Andrea: Yes, I cringe. I really do cringe when I hear it because I think it's not the right attitude, somehow. So, when Marc responds, and Marc, make up a response that indicates that you'll give a gift. Gimme a response.

Marc: Wow. I never even knew. Is that all it's gonna take to get those animals fixed? Literally?

Andrea: Yes. Right. You know, it really is all it's gonna take. Right now, we're into the explore. So what are we exploring here? What we're exploring here are the possibility and the terms of the gift. So when he says, "Is that all it's gonna take?" then I'm gonna say, "Yes. You know, if you were to give us a gift of 10,000 dollars, that's gonna close out our funding for this. We've raised all the rest of it. And in fact, in three months we could be getting a truck. And boy, it's gonna make such a difference in not having a new crop of kittens in the slums." Or whatever it is. "Now, let's talk about how we'd like to transact that gift. How would you like to do that? Do you need to talk to your wife before we make a final commitment? Is this something you'd like to give over time?" You know, pledge periods, what's the timing?"

In this explore, we are working with the donor to figure out how we're gonna make this gift happen. Or if instead of saying he's interested, he would say, "You know, I don't think this is what I could do, but I'd be interested in doing something else." Then you have an explore about that. It's a conversation about the gift. The first explore was a conversation about the donor's interest in your organization or overlap with your organization. The second explore is an explore about the gift. And when you have a sense of how that's gonna be transacted, then you're ready to move to the second confirm, which is, "Okay, let's summarize and review the next steps." So this confirmation obviously is just as important as the first confirmation. "Marc, I heard you tell me that you are interested in giving a gift of 10,000 dollars to this project, but that in order to do that you really would need to confer with your wife." That you don't do gifts of that size without talking to her. "So, would you like me to meet with both of you?"

Marc: You would do that?

Andrea: That would be an explore question, right? If you say, "No, I'm happy to talk to her about it," then I might say, "Well what if I call you next week to see how we might make this happen?"

Marc: What's your take on this? One of the things that I like to say is, "Okay, great. If I haven't heard from you by next Tuesday, could I give you a call? Would that give you enough time?" Something like that, because I don't want to ever lose the position to follow up, to conduct.
Andrea: That's right. I agree with that entirely. It's the same thing. So my inclination would be not to say, "Get back in touch with me when you've talked to your wife." My inclination would be to say, "Why don't I put it in my book to give you a call next week, or to shoot you an email?"

Marc: Oh, yes. That's good.

Andrea: I mean, I would really want to hold control. The minute you give control away, then you become a nag when you get back in touch. So that puts you in the wrong place.

Marc: As anybody who's heard me speak will say, what I love to do with that call is either use the phrase, "As promised, I am calling to follow up with you." Especially if I'm ...

Andrea: [SS] Yes, exactly.

Marc: Because then I'm just a person of integrity. And you can trust me. Or, "You asked me to call you up, and so I am."

Andrea: Yes. It's super important to do that. And then when we get to the confirm, we're actually confirming next steps. Right? That's what we're doing. We're saying, "Okay. Here's what I think we said. You're gonna talk to your wife. I'm gonna get back in touch with you next week. In the meantime, I'll send you a letter summarizing where we are, and then next week we'll actually get this thing taken care of. Right?" And then, "Well, you didn't quite get that right," or "Here's how I'd really ..." You know, sometimes that happens. You think you're in agreement, and when you confirm, you find out you're not. So then you have to go back to the explore again.

Marc: Well, it's so much better to find out when you're there. Because you're right there.

Andrea: Exactly.

Marc: Instead of finding out later or, like, in a pledge commit, "What do you mean? You sent me this letter. This is not what I said."

Andrea: "This is not what I said." That's why you're confirming very specifically. I had a funny experience once with a donor who happens to be a friend of mine, very wealthy woman. And I was running a small concert series with a budget of 10,000 dollars. Little bitty concert series. And I went and met with her to ask her for a gift. She had given to the series before. And I asked her for a gift of 1000 dollars. And in that year her husband had died and my mother had died. And as I said, we were close friends. And at the end of our lunch together, she said, "Andrea, I want to give you a gift to your concert series. And I've decided that I'm going to give you five in honor of your mother, and five in honor of my husband." And I said, "Oh, that's fantastic. Thank you so much. That was just wonderful." And off I went home. And I woke up the next morning, and I realized that I hadn't confirmed the gift. And frankly, I had no idea if she meant 500, or 5000. I didn't know.

So I thought, "What am I gonna do now?" And now, of course, I could have gotten around this by confirming it. "Carol, what I hear you saying is that you're gonna give me 500 dollars in honor of Otto and 500 dollars in honor of my mother." Remember, I had asked her for 1000 dollars. And then she would have said, "No, that's not what I had in mind." Because it turned out not to be what she had in mind. So I woke up and then I totally missed this. I didn't confirm it. I called her up. I said, "Carol, I'm really embarrassed. You know, I am a professional in this business. You'd think I wouldn't make these mistakes, but I did. And I really don't know what it is you want to do. And you agreed to give me two gifts of 500 dollars or two gifts of 5000 dollars. And she said without blinking, "Andrea, how do you know that I didn't decide to give you two gifts of 500,000 dollars? I have two requests at my desk for that amount right now." She really did say that. What she really had intended was to give me two gifts of 5000 dollars. So in one visit, she had covered my entire concert budget.

Marc: Wow!

Andrea: And I went on to double the budget and double the amount of money anyway. But I learned always to confirm. It was just embarrassing. I'll never forget that. I'll never take anything for granted again. So, back to the model. Here we are. You have confirmed, and you have set out next steps. Now because everybody wants to know whose job it is to talk, here is a rough breakdown. These little numbers on the top are the percentage of solicitor versus prospective donor talking. Settle is 50/50. Confirm is 90% the solicitor, 10% the donor. Explore is 25% the solicitor, 75% the donor. The ask is very short, but it's 100% you, the solicitor. The explore is probably more like 50/50. And the confirm is 90% you, 10% the donor. Now let's look at timing for a second. Everybody always wants to know, so I made up some numbers. But boy, this can be all over the place. Five to 10 minutes for settling, two to three minutes for confirming. Those are probably long, actually, for what may be real. Fifteen to 20 minutes for exploring, two to three minutes or one to two minutes for the ask, 15 to 20 minutes to explore, and then three to five minutes or even less for confirming. So it gives you some sense of this.

Marc: Yes.

Andrea: Right? Now, what you'll find is that this kind of conversation, which sounds very cumbersome as I go through each piece, is actually very simple. And I want to give you a good example of that quickly. Let's say, as often happens, I finish a day. It's a long, pressure-filled day. I get home at night, and I'm tired, and I don't want to cook. Right? I really don't want to cook. So my husband, his name is Tico, is sitting here when I get home, and instead of just saying, "Hey, I'm really tired. Let's go out," I'm gonna have an intentional conversation. Now watch how this works. I'm gonna say, "Tico, I am weary and it is raining cats and dogs out." Right? This is settling. He might say, or I might say, "How was your day?" Anything to say, "I saw Sue on my way in. Boy is she looking harried." Anything that kind of gets our voices in the room, has us making some connection. It doesn't take very much.

Then, to go to the first little arrow, I might say, "Listen, there's something I want to talk to you about." That moves the conversation. I bring in something specific. What do I want to talk to him about? "It's quarter to six and dinnertime's coming soon. Let's take just a couple of minutes and figure out what we want to do for dinner." So I've brought the conversation to something specific, namely dinner. And I'm confirming we're gonna take a couple of minutes, and we're gonna talk about what we're gonna do for dinner. That's the subject. Right? Simple. Takes no time at all. Quite natural. Then, instead of saying, "I'm not gonna cook tonight," which I might feel like, but that's not gonna help, I might say, "What's on your mind for dinner? Is there something you've been hungry for?" That moves us into the explore. "Before we figure it out, tell me what you're hungry for today." Now, he can say, "You know what? Nothing." Or he can say, "You know, I've been thinking Chinese." Or I might introduce it by saying, "I know you've been talking about trying out this new restaurant. Do you still have a hankering to do that?" Or anything that gets him talking about the subject and what his desires are, not what my desires are.

So depending on how he answers, I'm going to make a request. So if what he's told me is, "I'm way tired here today. I don't wanna go back out in the rain," then my request might be, "Listen, why don't we order in?" I've heard him, but I'm gonna get what I want. Or if he says, "Yes, I've been hungry for lasagna all day," I say, "Well listen. Why don't we head out to that new Italian restaurant down the block." Right? I make a request. That's the ask. And then I say, "Alright, listen. There's some things we need to figure out. Do we need to call to make reservations? What time do you wanna eat? How are we gonna get there?" I mean, simple things. We're in the second explore now, if you haven't followed me. He says, "Okay, listen. I think we do need reservations because it's crowded. Why don't I make the call? Let's drive because it's raining. You pull the car around. I'll meet you outside in 20 minutes. Fantastic." And I can confirm. "Okay. Did you make the call? Are we on for 7:30? See you in just a few." Right? Done. And you can imagine this whole conversation taking five minutes, six minutes, seven minutes. And what it does, of course, is that it is my intention, I came in with a clear intention.

Marc: True.

Andrea: But then I took the time to find out what his interests were. And I promise you, it works better than just getting stuck with saying what it is you want. Simple conversation. Now, what's the primary characteristic a great fundraiser has? They are curious about other people and what other people want. That's the grease, that's the oil that makes this process happen. And then when the solicitor tells us what it is they're interested in, we act as a sounding board. We amplify that. We work with that to shape the ask that reflects their interests. Think of yourself as a sounding board. What you'll find happens through this process is that people's lizard brains are gonna go away, and their lion hearts are gonna reach out. You will have shifted the balance so that lion heart will be in ascendance. Lizard brain is not gonna leave. It's just gonna not be the triggered force here. Marc, have I made cogent sense here?

Marc: Oh my goodness, totally. I could totally listen to you. I've got notes and notes. I've got pages of notes here. And so part of the silence is just, I'm scrambling and writing down the questions and comments! But I know we have questions from some folks, and I know this seems to be becoming a little bit of a wonderful kind of pattern, part of our ritual, the arc of our conversations in the Non Profit Academy is it looks like we're gonna go a little long. But you'll be okay for a few minutes for some questions and answers?

Andrea: I'm fine. Sure, I'm happy to do that.

Marc: Thank you. I just felt my oxytocin go up, so I appreciate that.

Andrea: This approach is the druggie's approach, Marc, to soliciting.
Marc: Awesome. Oh, man. So one of the questions that came up was about the setting up the appointment. You had said that if you know in advance, you're gonna set it up for a gift too. But what about when you don't know in advance? How do you handle that, how do you handle especially the ask part?

Andrea: Yes, very good question. So if you don't know if the person's ready for a gift, then when you set it up, you're not gonna tell them you're gonna be there to ask them for a gift. You're gonna tell them you want to come and talk to them about your organization and their particular interest in it. So you tell them that you're gonna be exploring their potential interest in your organization, that you want to know more about them. Right? You're always wanting to know more about them. Then if you get to the place in the conversation where it seems that they are ready to give, and sometimes that happens, you're gonna want to say, "Do you mind if I ask you for a gift?" That would be your transition, right? Let me go back to one of these slides here.

Marc: That's really good.

Andrea: Right? This slide, here. You're gonna want to be saying, "Do you mind? You know, I didn't set this up to ask you for a gift, but it sounds like you might be interested. Is that OK?"
Marc: That's one of my favorite phrases. Yes.

Andrea: It's a permission question. It falls into the category of permission questions. And they are very useful kinds of questions.

Marc: So what I like to do too, there, in that case is say, "Hey, I didn't realize you were this interested, and I didn't set this up to be a solicitation this time."

Andrea: Right.

Marc: And then I take a little pause because I like to remind, this is the relationship. They know that, but I like to settle that in, but without making it a big deal. And then I say, "Is it alright if I share with you something that we're doing specifically about that right now? Or should I follow up with you in a couple weeks?"

Andrea: Yes, exactly. You give them an option. That's great. That's always a good idea.

Marc: Okay, good.

Andrea: I mean, you always have to be coming from the position of having a genuine conversation. And what I like about this model is that it leads you there. This isn't a matter of scripting. All you're looking at with this model is here are the pieces of a conversation. The conversation itself has to be real. You have to relax into it so that you know what it is you want to be doing. Not, "Well, if he says this then I'm gonna say that." You are on the same page with your donor, right? You're not a play actor. You're having a real conversation.

Marc: Yes.

Andrea: Then it starts to be fun. Then it starts to be nifty.

Marc: So I guess the question I want to go to next is this great question about, what if you're soliciting people that are geographically apart from you? Can you do this over the phone? And I know this particular group is an association that has members all over the country, and it doesn't feasibly make sense yet for travel to them. I think that that's an accurate assessment. So does that work on the phone?

Andrea: Not as well. Oxytocin comes better on the phone than an email, but not half as well as when you're actually in the room. I keep thinking that Skype is going to be useful and if I were in an organization like yours, I would want to invest in the very best quality virtual communication system that you can possibly invest in. I would be sure you have high speed internet. I would do everything possible to make it so that you can be talking to people face to face, even though you're not in the same room or state or or anything. And all of that technology is getting better. It's not there yet, but it's getting better. For example, I was in a meeting recently in the conference room of a very fancy law firm here in New York. Instead of having one of those nasty black boxes in the middle of the table for the people who had to be remote but were still in the meeting, they had a speaker system out of the ceiling so that the voices of the people who weren't in the room came from the ceiling. And I was amazed at much more effective it was. So I think little ways to use technology that make it feel more seamless are important. And if your organization has a far-flung geography, boy I would encourage you to invest in that. The more personal you can make it feel, the better. In any case, however, this model of conversation works. It just works. It works better than most any other that I know of.

Marc: Well, because it's based in natural conversation. So that's great, yes. So what happens? I low-balled it to you. I kind of gave you a pitch right over the plate. I'm not an athletic person so I probably just messed up that metaphor. But what if they say you've explored, and you think as a solicitor you've found the right connection, but you make the ask and the donor prospect makes it very clear that you're way off base?

Andrea: Yes. You're way off base and that does happen sometimes. Now, before I tell you the answer to this, I want you all to think this for a minute because you know the answer. You know the answer. So the answer is to ask them what it is they would like to do.

Marc: Then you can do that, because you've already got a specific ask out there.

Andrea: Right. You have a specific ask out there. They say, "No, that's not right. I don't want to do that." Say, "I hear you. I didn't get it right. What would you like to do? What would really work for you?" I mean, you need them to tell you. Right?

Marc: That's true.

Andrea: You threw something out there as a starter. You need them to tell you. You need them to talk themselves into whatever it is they want to do. You need them to guide you. They are the heart of this conversation, not you. You may have certain needs, right? But your needs may or may not serve their interests. So get over it. This isn't about your needs. It's about what would make the donor excited and happy to do, even if that doesn't happen to be what serves your needs today. So if you want to resist a bit you can, but boy, I don't believe this is where we are overcoming objections. I don't believe it. I believe the only objections we overcome are the ones in setting up the meeting. Once you get here, it's exploring what the donor wants to do. And sometimes the donor hasn't figured it out themselves. They figure it out through this conversation.

Marc: And if they're verbal processors, they'll just keep talking.

Andrea: That's right.

Marc: And your job is to create that safe space for them to process and not try to jump in and correct.

Andrea: And you know what, the more we push people, the more you push someone to do something, guess which part of their brain is gonna be triggered. Lizard brain. The more you say, "Well, you say you don't wanna do this, but I really think this is important because we really need this so much," what's gonna be happening? They trigger this thing like mad. If you say instead, "I hear you. That's not what you wanna be doing. Let's talk about what would work for you."

Marc: Wow!

Andrea: Lizard brain goes back to sleep. Lion heart comes forward. But it takes some practicing. And I really would encourage all of you to practice it on your partner about going out to dinner. Practice it a few times. I found it's easier for people to practice it that way than it is to practice it about fundraising. The stakes are lower. You know, I did a workshop on this a while ago, and at the end of the workshop, a woman came up to me. And she said, "Thank you so much for this. Now I understand why my husband will never go out to dinner when I ask him to. How come I never do this?" She said, "You've changed my life." It was funny.

Marc: You're amazing. I knew you were amazing, but you're even marriage counseling and everything else too. I love it.

Andrea: Exactly, exactly. My quirky approach to the universe.

Marc: No, this is great. I know they can find you at andreakihlstedt.com.

Andrea: Yes. Let me go here.

Marc: Can you explain a little about Capital Campaign Magic because you're doing, yet again in your quirkiness, you're doing something that is brilliant but nobody thought of before that I can tell.

Andrea: I know. I'm just addicted to this stuff. So my wonderful partner Gail Perry, maybe some of you know her and know who she is. She's just terrific. Gail's in North Carolina. She is about as southern belle as I am sort of northern hippie or whatever you wanna call me. But we have a good thing going here, and we have created Capital Campaign Magic. If a capital campaign is a glimmer in your eye or the eye of your board member, you will want to sign on for our newsletter. We work with organizations from the time they start thinking about a capital campaign until they're ready to hire a consultant. And there is a lot to do in that period to set you up for success. We believe you shouldn't hire a consultant until you are pretty sure your feasibility study is gonna come back positive. And too much money, time, effort, energy is spent for organizations moving down that road before they're ready. So everything we do in Capital Campaign Magic is focused on that preliminary period. And I must say, it's great fun. We do personal coaching, and we're just developing an online product specifically around campaign readiness.

Marc: So everybody that's listening, I am often brought in to do feasibility studies and planning studies, whatever you want to call it, where people are asking for, they're testing a case and they're going to their top supporters and suspects and having me do research for them. What often happens though is that the non-profit hasn't been in touch with those people until I start talking to the donors. So they have left a lot of communication relationships on the ground. So the first time some of them are hearing the story of the non-profit is when the feasibility study comes up and it's too early. And what Andrea and Gail are doing with Capital Campaign Magic is doing the incredibly good, I've had the fortune of working with an organization that's been through their system, and their feasibility study is gonna be so much better because they've actually had a relationship started with some of their donors, and they've actually had some systems in place that make it so that they're so much more prepared to actually do the feasibility because they've already had a lot of the foundation. Feasibility studies aren't the foundation, but Capital Campaign Magic is. And they're really helping you get off the top and not blow your 20, 30, 40, 50,000 dollar investment in feasibility and planning study, but actually invest that in the organization.

Andrea: It makes me angry when consultants lead people down that road when they're not ready.

Marc: Well, it's when the only tool you have in your toolkit is a hammer. Everything looks like a nail.

Andrea: Right. Exactly. And we are providing something that is lower cost that really helps people know what it is they need to do to get ready, and then helps them figure out how to hire a consultant.

Marc: And that isn't that helpful, too, knowing what to look for and what not to look for?

Andrea: Yes. We are not consultants anymore. We were both consultants for a long time. We are not doing that anymore. We're really doing all of this preliminary work, and it turns out to be both very engaging, very effective, and I think a really good product on the market. So thank you for that.

Marc: And donors and boards like it too. Oh, you're welcome. I think it's brilliant. I wish I'd known about it when I was an employee.

Andrea: Yes, let me go to this. I have a blog that I write on all sorts of topics. You can go to andreakihlstedt.com. I write once a week. They tend to be short, and for those of you who have wandering minds like mine, you may enjoy it. Don't sign up for the newsletter because I don't frankly send out any newsletters, but you can sign up for the RSS feed at the bottom of the page. That'll get it to you. I just do this as a hobby, so I don't promote it, but I write about things like persistence and planning. I wrote a big one on how to plan complicated projects, and, you know, whatever's on my mind. Sometimes I write about poverty and social issues. I don't know, it's all over the place.

Marc: Nice.

Andrea: But it is weekly. I wrote my 100th post recently, so that was pretty cool.

Marc: Congratulations. Yes.

Andrea: Anyway, Marc, this has been great fun. I hope everybody on your call has gotten something out of it.

Marc: I am so thrilled that you were here. If you could kick over to the last slide. Everybody, I do think that you should go to capitalcampaignmagic.com and also to andreakihlstedt.com. But Andrea, thank you. Also go to askingstyleprofile.com to get a free asking style profile, or to figure out which are you: mission-driven, or rainmaker, or mission controller. Andrea has put so much time and effort into distilling this to being rememberable. I mean, you can remember the intentional conversation because it's just what you do anyway. It's just taking it out, helping you look at it, and the transition arrows so that you can be the one in charge. And so, Andrea, thank you for continuing to distill what you're learning and experiencing, because you're helping so many non-profits, and so many of us that are coaching non-profits actually do it well. And thank you for being here today, too.

Andrea: Thanks, Marc. And thanks for all of you who stayed with me through this whole hour. It's a long hour and a quarter. It's a long time to hear someone talk, so I appreciate it.

Marc: Well, everybody's gonna want to keep replaying this. And as a reminder, you can go to thenonprofitacademy.com and right now thenonprofitacademy.com/dashboard/past-webinars on your menu. That would be in the members area, that would be in the online vault. You can see all 50 to 60 trainings and seminars and templates that are up there. You can also see this one and replay it whenever you want as a member. And also you can be kept informed by email as a member of the upcoming trainings. Like next month we'll have Simone Joyaux talking about how to fire your board members, how to work with them well.

Andrea: I have to say, Simone is terrific. And her "How to fire your board members" is terrific. I'm a big fan of that book.

Marc: Oh, I cringed because I almost was afraid it was like, "Shut up." But it's not. I know it's not.

Andrea: No, it's not. It's fantastic. I actually wrote the foreword to that book.

Marc: Oh my goodness!

Andrea: I just think it's terrific. I think it's a terrific piece. It's the only book on governance that I've ever read that I thought made great sense.

Marc: Oh, that is good.

Andrea: So I recommend her highly.

Marc: She is amazing too. Well thank you so much Andrea. And everybody else, thanks for joining us for another edition of NPA Presents. And for this, we're closing out this edition right now. See you.