Sue is one of our favorite donors. She is always the life of the party, no matter what the function is.

She typically starts the conversation wanting to know about everyone else—then easily morphs into what is new in her extremely busy life. We can always count on her for a good story and a big smile, and to help connect us with all of her friends.

For Sue, the cause is about the people. She wants to know who is going to be involved in each project, who is going to help, and with whom we want her to connect. We call her “our people-person” when we think about how she might be involved in supporting our cause.

When thinking of Sue or other donors and volunteers with extroversion as their highest behavioral trait, use the following guide to build your engagement strategy.

Working with High Extroversion Donors

  1. Listen and connect

It can be easy to spend a lot of time building rapport with a donor exhibiting high extroversion. While this can be quite enjoyable, it is important to remember why you are meeting. Show this donor courtesy and attention while listening for ways to enhance the donor’s relationship with the organization. This will help him or her feel comfortable to share even deeper, more personal experiences, which will in turn allow you to connect him or her on an even deeper level.

2. Show your appreciation

We strive to provide meaningful stewardship to all donors, but donors with extroversion as their highest behavioral trait have a particularly strong need for acknowledgement, inclusion, and praise. Take special care to let these donors know how much you appreciate them.

3. Be positive and build trust

These donors are loath to put themselves in situations where people may not agree with them, or where they might look foolish. They might be reluctant to show you their real selves, and this might impede the process for identifying donor passion. Don’t be discouraged.

Points for Success

  1. Securing Appointments

These donors are likely to have a large network; they also probably enjoy meeting new people. It can be very effective to utilize mutual connections (perhaps volunteers) to arrange introductions.

2. Donor Meetings

Though they may enjoy friendly meetings, having too many people around donors exhibiting high extroversion can be a distraction. Try to schedule meetings at their home or in a low-traffic area, such as a small coffee shop during off-peak hours, and keep distractions at bay so that you may have their full attention during your visit.

3. Proposing Next Steps

When asking for action, look to utilize people. Would a meeting with a board member or leader from your organization be appropriate? Would a behind-the-scenes tour help engage him or her? Would a meeting with those benefiting from the contribution help the potential donor perceive the impact better?

4. Making an Ask

Donors exhibiting high extroversion usually have little trouble coming up with something to say—so don’t talk over them. After you’ve proposed a financial contribution, be quiet and let them share their thoughts. Talking through a major decision feels natural for those with high extroversion.

5. Stewarding a Contribution

Because extroversion is the “people” trait, show impact in terms of who is benefiting. Involve additional individuals in creating Return on Philanthropic Investment by utilizing events and sharing personal stories. An individualized touch can go a long way toward inspiring future contributions.

The Professional DynaMetric Profile (PDP) is just one framework that may be helpful for understanding the basic communication styles and preferences of donors. What suggestions do you have for working with donors with high extroversion?