This is one of the handouts I use when teaching my Fundraising Training.
Getting past the fear of asking
- How do you feel about soliciting and asking for money?
- How do you feel when you write a check to your favorite organization?
- Your goal: To make current and potential donors into true friends of the organization.
5 Truths to Fundraising
- You need to put yourself in the donor's shoes.
- You must ask way more people than the number of gifts you need.
- It has to be OK with you for people to say no.
- You will need to ask some people, but you don't need to ask everyone.
- What you believe in has to be bigger than what you are afraid of.
“No one likes asking for money. But what can we say? …Consequently, we're bothering you. Forgive the intrusion…”
This person seemed so embarrassed to ask for the money. But if she truly believes the project is cool and meaningful, then why isn't she pleased and proud to let me know about it? And to invite me to join in and help make this cool project happen? Why does she think I wouldn't want to be involved??
Reframe: “you’re offering them an opportunity” a “way to feel connected to a cause they care about”
Stepping on the ask:
After you mention the amount you’d like them to donate – be quiet. Really listen to what the prospect says. This is where we usually don’t do a good job because we are nervous and tend to talk too much. Listen to the response and determine if they are going to give at the level requested, if at a lower level, or if they need to think about it.
“I’m asking you to renew your commitment to [organization] with a donation of $1,000 this year – will you do that?” Ask – then be quiet and listen.
Ten Tips for Making an Ask
1) Make your gift first. Make your gift before you ask someone else to give. The conviction that is felt by someone who has already given can not be duplicated. It makes a huge difference.
2) Be positive, sincere and passionate about the cause. Upon greeting the prospect, be upbeat and passionate about the organization and its mission.
3) State the need. After greeting your prospect, re-state the importance of the organization and how it makes a positive difference in the world.
4) Ask for a specific amount. It is critical to ask the prospect for a specific amount within a specific time-frame. For example, “I’m asking you to renew your commitment to [organization] with a donation of $1,000 this year – will you do that?”
5) Be quiet and confident. It is critical not to say anything at this point but relay confidence in yourself and the organization through your body language and facial response. The seconds that follow may be uncomfortable, so prepare for it. Eye contact and supportive facial gestures will relay a quiet confidence.
6) Listen to the response. Really listen to what the prospect says. This is where we usually don’t do a good job because we are nervous and tend to talk too much. Listen to the response and determine if they are going to give at the level requested, if at a lower level, or if they need to think about it.
7) Thank the prospect and respond. It is important to thank them sincerely for their time and consideration of an investment in your organization. Regardless of the response, a sincere thank you and leaving on a positive note is important.
8) Create a sense of urgency and determine next steps. Ask the prospect when the appropriate time would be to follow up to learn their decision. It is important to relay a time frame upon which you are working. For example, “May I call you the end of next week to learn your answer?” Ending with a specific plan will help you seal the deal.
9) Respond in writing within 24 hours. Once you have the information, put it in writing and mail back to the prospect within 24 hours. This act will relay a sense of urgency and importance. It also signals a sense of respect. It is critical to treat this person with the respect that they deserve as a major donor to your organization.
10) Follow up in the agreed upon time frame. Lastly, put the time to call the prospect on your calendar and make sure you follow through. Representing your organization in a professional manner is important. Make sure you do what you said you would do.
Material may be shared for educational purposes (not for profit) with credit:
copyright 2009-2015 Robbie Samuels www.robbiesamuels.com.
This is to ensure that I can answer questions that may arise as the material is in use and periodically updated.