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Aristotle and Plato, detail of "School of Athens", Raphael

Do not “craft a pitch.”

A pitch imprudently assumes you already know what will persuade a donor.To be sure, as Aristotle’s Rhetoric notes, persuasive communication always include some combination of:

  • Ethos (your own personal trustworthiness as a leader)

  • Pathos (emotional appeal for support, the inspiring stories for how your supporter can make a difference in the lives of students and for society)

  • Logos (the logic, evidence, facts, figures, and stats which illustrate the effectiveness of your school)

But whereas one individual may be uniquely moved by Pathos, another may be particularly concerned with Logos, and another may ultimately only really care about Ethos.

So, before assuming, take a step back or two (philosophers from Aristotle) and add in a bit of the Socratic method to your mixture.

Like Socrates, the wise fundraiser knows he knows little. Before pitching a donor for “this” or “that,” why not sit down with that supporter and just ask what they care about?

“What inspires you to support the school?” or “What about the school made you willing to visit today?”

“What information about the school would be most valuable for me to provide to you?

“How would you describe your confidence in me as a leader?”

“In the future, how would you like me to invite you to support the school’s mission?” or “How can the school best present to you opportunities to support its efforts in the future?”

Investing in meaningful conversations with your supporter, utilizing open-ended questions, is the most persuasive pitch you can make.


Faithful Catholic Fundraising is a Catholic, family-owned company that offers custom-tailored solutions fit for your mission.

With Faithful Catholic Fundraising, you will begin to think more deeply about your fundraising and cultivate more meaningful conversations with your donors.

You can visit with our founder Killian Beeler on Zoom or get in touch with him at Find reviews of other Catholic leaders like yourself who have personally partnered with Faithful Catholic Fundraising here.


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