Using Technology to Nail the Proposal

Is there a role for technology in a major gift proposal? 

We know that being well prepared with a creative major gift proposal can make a big difference. But should you use technology in the ask?  

Perhaps. A strong proposal may be presented using a combination of media formats, as long as it is personal and supports the conversation.

What to consider before you include a technological component in your major gift ask:

  • Are you sure that the content cannot be presented more effectively in any other way? Don't do something fancy with an iPad "just because."  
  • How does the donor take in information? Are they visual learners? Do they have an attention span that suggests you should vary the tempo and structure of your ask?
  • Will they be impressed by the technology, or overwhelmed by it?
  • Will you be in a setting where it can be easily utilized? It must fit naturally into the flow of the presentation. You must not interrupt the conversation to hook something up or change seating arrangements. Sight lines need be the same for all viewers; don't play favorites.
  • Is it personal? Make sure your presentation is a personalized, one-time-only production, specifically designed for this particular donor and this particular ask. In this respect, your technological component is no different than a proposal presented on paper.
  • Keep it brief. What you present should be able to be communicated and absorbed in 45 to 60 seconds. It shouldn't require too much reading, or too much focus to understand.
  • Does it spark conversation? Your technological component needs to be presented in support of a conversation - not in place of one.
  • Finally - and most importantly, do you have a backup plan? As we all know, technology can fail, spectacularly and unexpectedly. You want to be able to make a seamless transition if that happens.