CBS has been 3rd in the morning TV news ratings for over 30 years. Charlie Rose will be leading their charge to change this from 7am-8am, bringing a serious tone to an otherwise increasingly witty, wacky and pop-culture-filled hour led by NBC’s ‘Today’ and ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’. Rose is perhaps the single best interviewer I have ever seen. His questions get to the heart of issues and people, facilitating a beautiful dialogue, filled with insightful verbal challenges, full disclosure and shared understanding. Here are 29 questions that I think he’d ask of current and potential supporters – and of development officers – that will take you further in your philanthropic relationships.
- What’s the largest impact you’ve had on the world?
- The world needs band aids AND solutions to social problems. Which do you prefer to invest in and why?
- How do you plan on teaching your children about philanthropy?
- Are you hoping they (your kids) have the same community values or different ones?
- What’s been your best giving experience?
- What’s been your worst?
- What person has had the most influence on you and your life?
- How do you and your spouse/family make your philanthropic decisions?
- Do you prefer to give a little to several organizations or more to a few?
- What are your top 3 philanthropic interests and why?
- How long do you usually stick with an organization or issue?
- If you could volunteer full time – what would you do?
- How do you define success?
- What lead to you being successful?
- How can we give others those same opportunities?
As a current/potential supporter, ask fundraisers or nonprofit leaders…
- What motivates your employees and staff?
- What does the organization look like in 5 years? 10 years?
- What are your current costs per client?
- What sort of impact are you getting for that?
- Summarize your current strategic plan for me.
- Who’s doing similar-type work?
- How are you working with, or at least learning from, them?
- What’s the best way to for me to introduce my network to you?
- What connections/introductions can I make for you?
- I’m making an unrestricted gift. Where/how will you use it and why?
- What sort of professional training does your staff have?
- What kind of turnover are you seeing and why?
- How does the organization define success – and are you reaching it?
- Can philanthropy solve this problem? If so, how much money is needed. If not, what else needs to happen?
So grab coffee or a meal with your favorite supporter or nonprofit staff and have a deeper conversation. What’s missing? What questions would you ask?