Tom is an easygoing guy who just wants everyone to get along. He is resilient; in fact, he’s the first to make the best out of a bad situation. He’s a little soft spoken, and definitely mortified by confrontation, but do not be deceived—Tom can be persistent, even stubborn, when it comes to accomplishing something he truly cares about.

The high pace/patience trait is the mark of a deliberate decision maker. He takes his time when reaching a decision, but after he does, he feels confident in his choice. Tom isn’t motivated by a transactional environment. He wants his gift to be transformational, and he’s happy to wait for the right cause, the right moment, and the right people.

You may find the following guide helpful when working with donors like Tom.

Working with High Pace/Patience Donors

  1. Answer the “Why” Questions:

Donors with pace/patience as their highest behavioral trait will ask a lot of “why” questions:

  • Why are you pursuing this goal?
  • Why are you using these methods to accomplish the goal?

2. Set clear meeting objectives

Setting clear meeting objectives is critical with these individuals, as they particularly dislike poor planning and unpredictability.

3. Collaborate

Donors exhibiting high pace/patience have a desire to collaborate and want to participate in a meaningful way with other donors and volunteers. You may notice that individuals demonstrating high pace/patience are very conscious of how others feel and want to be in an inclusive environment.

Points for Success

  1. Donor Meetings

A donor with high pace/patience appreciates a consistent, reliable schedule. Build trust by adhering to the time-frames that you mutually agree upon.

Choose a location that makes the donor feel comfortable, such as her or his own home or a favorite restaurant. This individual can be distracted in an unfamiliar environment.

2. Engagement Opportunities

These donors are friendly, but they prefer more intimate engagements to large parties or events. Set up opportunities for these donors to meet with leaders or subject-matter experts in small group settings.

3. Making an Ask

Donors exhibiting high pace/patience like to have options—but giving them too many options can make it difficult for them to make decisions. Test options one variable at a time: Which of these projects would you like to support? And then, what type of contribution would be meaningful?

4. Stewarding a Contribution

Individuals exhibiting high pace/patience like to be recognized personally for their imagination and foresight. Show them the difference their involvement has made in a way that indicates you respect their unique 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 exhibiting high pace/patience?