Asking for money can be intimidating.
It’s intimidating because we’re thinking about the ask the wrong way. We need to shift our mentality so we understand that we aren’t bothering our donors. They want to give us money because they want to feel good about giving money to a cause they’re passionate about.
Your job is not to convince the person to give. Your job is not to connect with the person logically or to sell the person on how great your organization is. Your job is to connect the donor to his personal why. Why does he support organizations in your sector? Why is he motivated to help those less fortunate? Why is he passionate about the cause? When you connect with his why, then you open up the possibility for an ask.
Before you get to the ask, I highly recommend your read the book, Donors are People Too by Timothy L Smith. Tim explains how to build relationships with donors that lead to an ask, not how to ask for money. The relationship portion of the ask is crucial. If you’re cold calling people asking for money, I recommend stepping back and seeing ways you can contribute to their life outside of asking them for money. Ask to pray for them, call to check up on them, or call to tell an impact story. This goes a long way to building the relationship necessary to ask for a donation.
Asking people for money can be hard. But if you want to be successful in fundraising, it’s something you’re going to have to get comfortable with. The good news is that there are some tried and true methods for asking for donations that can help increase your chances of getting people to say “yes.”
Building relationships with donors is essential to the success of any fundraising organization. Donors are the lifeblood of your organization, and without them, you would not be able to accomplish your mission. Before you ever get to the point of asking for money, you should have a relationship with a donor. Therefore, it is crucial that you treat your donors with the utmost respect and gratitude. Here are some tips on how to build a relationship with a donor.
- Get to know your donors. The first step in building a relationship with a donor is to get to know them. Find out what their interests are, what motivates them, and what causes they care about. The more you know about your donor, the easier it will be to build a strong relationship with them. Get to know them as a person – not just a donor. One of the best ways to build a relationship with a donor is to get to know them on a personal level. What are their interests? What is their favorite hobby? Getting to know them as a person will help you build a strong foundation for a lasting relationship.
- Communicate regularly. Once you have gotten to know your donor, it is important to communicate with them on a regular basis. Thank them for their support, update them on the progress of your organization, and let them know how their donations are making a difference. Regular communication will go a long way in maintaining a strong relationship with your donor. Send them periodic updates (monthly, quarterly, etc.), share stories about the people your work has helped, and invite them to events where they can see the work firsthand. These updates will help keep your donors engaged and remind them why they support your organization in the first place.
- Be responsive to their needs. When a donor expresses an interest in supporting your organization, be sure to follow up in a timely manner. Thank them for their interest and let them know how they can get involved. If they have questions or concerns, be sure to address those in a prompt and professional manner. Responding quickly and effectively to your donor’s needs will show that you value their involvement and want to build a strong relationship with them.
- Ask for feedback. The only way to know if you’re meeting your donors’ expectations is to ask for feedback—and be prepared to listen when they tell you what they really think! This feedback can be positive or negative, but either way it will give you valuable insights into what your donors want and how you can improve your relationship with them.
Donor relations are vital to the success of any fundraising organization. By getting to know your donors on a personal level, keeping them updated on your work, expressing genuine gratitude, and inviting feedback, you can build strong relationships that will last for years to come.
Tips for Asking for a Gift
Make a personal connection
When you’re asking someone for money, it’s important to make a personal connection with them. This means finding out what their interests are and why they care about the cause you’re raising money for. Once you’ve established that connection, it will be much easier to ask them for money. What is your donor most interested in regarding your work?
When you’re asking someone for money, it’s important to be specific about how that money will be used. Tell them exactly what the money will be used for and why it’s important. This will help them understand the impact their donation will have. Speak to the donor’s heart!
Be prepared to answer questions
The person you’re asking may have some questions about your request, and it’s important to be prepared to answer them in a way that instills confidence and trust.
When it comes time to actually ask for the money, be direct and to the point. Explain why you need the funds and how you plan to use them. Be confident in your request, but don’t try to pressure the other person into saying yes.
It’s inevitable that you’ll hear “no” from time to time when soliciting donations. It’s important not to take these rejections personally, and instead use them as an opportunity to learn and improve your fundraising skills. Thank the donor for their time, and politely inquire as to why they said no. With this feedback, you can adjust your approach for future asks.
After you’ve made your ask, it’s important to follow up with the donor to thank them again and provide them with information on how their donation was used. This follow-up is key in building relationships with donors and ensuring they feel like their contributions are making a difference. If possible, include a personal story about how the donor’s money made an impact.
Say thank you
Finally, always remember to say thank you when someone makes a donation, regardless of the amount. A sincere thank-you goes a long way in building relationships with donors and making them feel appreciated.
Asking donors for money can be challenging, but it is an essential part of fundraising. By doing your research, making a personal connection, being respectful of their time, and saying thank you, you can increase your chances of getting the Donation while maintaining good relationships with your donors.