When people think of fundraising, they usually are thinking about The Ask – and that can be very intimidating. Today, we’re digging into the archives for some of our best advice on How to Ask.
EARNING THE RIGHT TO ASK
The one factor that most often explains the difference between the success and failure in an ask is whether or not we’ve earned the right to ask for the gift before actually doing so. In the urgency to complete campaign calls and meet deadlines, we’ve not committed the time and resources required to first raise the donor’s interest to a point where he/she is excited about supporting our case.
What does earning the right to ask for a gift actually look like in a campaign? It is perhaps best seen in the unique engagement strategies that are developed for each major donor prospect… strategies that identify specific steps to be taken that will raise his/her interest. That engagement strategy may be simple or it may require the investment of a considerable amount of time and attention with a donor before you’ve earned the right to ask for a gift. It’s important to meet each donor where they are.
How will you know when you’ve earned the right to ask? Read on
Have you ever experienced a situation like this?
“Hi Ann, I’m helping to raise money for the new homeless shelter. I’d love to meet with you to tell you more about it.”
“I’d love to meet with you Bruce, but I’m just so busy right now. Can you just send me something in the mail? Hal and I will look at it and get back to you.”
If you have been in a situation like that, I bet part of you (maybe a big part) was secretly relieved. There’s a lot less personal risk in dropping some campaign materials in the mail than there is sitting down face to face. But with less risk comes significantly less reward.
Why is it worth waiting? Read on
There are many ways to measure fundraising progress, but I want to add one more to the list. It’s not a measure of time, donors or even dollars – it’s a measure of degrees! If you want to make better “asks” and give your volunteers a proven tool for success, it’s time to turn it up!
Try it for yourself… Read on
If you’ve read this far and still want more, we encourage you to revisit this issue of Field Notes where we take the mystery out of – and show the great benefits of – a combined ask.
Asking for help is not an easy thing but it is vital if we’re to support our work as nonprofits, churches or schools. It is also a skill that can be honed with practice.
Don’t let your fear get in the way of your mission. Learn how to ask!