January 2, 2008
Let me begin by saying thank you so much. I started this blog a few months ago and have had an incredible response. In order to better serve you better I’ve decided to host my blog on my own instead of through WordPress. So if you have subscribed to my blog through your own reader you will need to re-subscribe at the new location. If you do not know how to subscribe, click on “Subscribe in a Reader” at the bottom of the right column on the front page of the blog. From there you can either subscribe through a feed reader or through an email update.
The new location is: www.ASmallChange.net
Thank you again I have been excited and encouraged by the emails, posts and comments that you have sent me. I think that 2008 is going to be an exciting year make sure to stick around and check out the site. If you have questions or comments please include them at the bottom of a post or on the Ideas, Questions & Answers page I’m happy to hear both positive and negative feedback. I want this blog to be a place where conversation can happen to improve fund development. Thanks for making my blog a success.
December 17, 2007
I think that making “The Ask” is most people’s number one fear in fundraising. But in my experience making “The Ask” has been one of the easiest parts of fundraising. It does not have to be a scary or frustrating thing at all.
Many nonprofits make the mistake of spending all their time planning “The Ask” and no time cultivating and stewarding their donors. The key to making a good ask is proper preparation. Your donor needs to know who you are and have a relationship with you in order to make a good ask. Make sure that you are taking time with your donors individually and as a group to talk with them about who you are and who they are. Know what specific areas they are interested in, why they give, and why they give you your organization. Know when their birthday is or when they get a promotion. Send them a card, make a short phone call, send them an email, all these things are part of proper cultivation and stewardship.
When you get to the point that you have a relationship with your donor making “The Ask” is simple. You should know specific interests of your donor, where else they give their money (and approximately how much, see my article on prospecting), and their past giving as a result of your cultivation and conversation. You are not uncomfortable in relating with them because you have a track record. So all you have to do is ask. Ask for something specific and reasonable and you know interests them. Make sure you are thanking them for their past giving, volunteer work, etc. If your ask involves a sponsorship, grant, or proposal make sure that you have all that information to give them. I have found that many times donors are waiting for “The Ask” to come and that making a good ask is more of a compliment to them. Everyone likes to be asked.