When you are fundraising for anything, it is important to be confident when speaking with people, particularly when you make “the ask” for their donations.
There are two main goals in learning how to ask for donations confidently, and ultimately, successfully:
- It helps connect donors to your cause. When you listen to your potential donors, you’ll be able to identify the specific aspects of your cause that will motivate them. Connect your donor to that, and they will be much more likely to donate, simply because of the personal connection they have.
- You can help donors realize the impact of their gift. Letting your potential donor know the positive impact their gift will have on the community is a great way to make sure they know they will be making a difference, and their donation won’t just be wasted on things like corporate bonuses or new office supplies.
In order to be able to confidently meet those goals, the first step is to ask yourself
- Why YOU are connected to this particular organization?
- What about this organization’s mission matters to you?
- Why are you choosing to spend your time and money to support them?
Being able to let people know why what you’re doing matters to you, and why you are passionate about it, will go a long way towards helping them feel passionate and committed to your cause as well!
Once you have established a connection with the potential donor, having shared why you care about the organization and explained the positive impact their donation would have, it’s time to ask The Question.
Here’s how to construct it:
- Would you be willing to consider ___________ (and then fill in the blank)
- so that… ________________ (the result, the impact, the transformation that gift makes possible)
- for ____________________ (the name of your organization)?
“Would you be willing to consider contributing a dinner for four with wine paired with each course at your Chef’s Table so that we can improve the lives of our less fortunate children of Rocklin and Loomis for our ABC Organization?”
Sample phone call (you can tailor this to fit a in person Ask):
“Hi, it’s Nichol. How are you?… I’m going to the AAF Organization Auction. They do amazing work—I’ve been volunteering with them—and I’m putting together a table. I wanted to invite you personally, to be at our table. You’ll already know so many of our friends, and we all love the work the organization does. It’s going to be so much fun!
Will you consider attending to support the Active Auctioneers Foundation?” (PAUSE – HOLD THE SILENCE… Give the other person time to think and respond) ….. After the response, say “Thank you! It’s $125 a ticket. I’ll send you a link to purchase tickets online – you can also add an additional donation amount if you feel led to do to. I’m so glad to be able to count on you to help our organization. Thank you so much!”
Successful asking is in the follow-up! Not following up will create lost opportunity.
People give to people, for causes they care about.