Think about the last time you made a direct fundraising ask.
How did it feel? Perhaps a little like this guy...
If so, you are in good company.
Anxiety around "the ask" is the number one expressed concern I hear from ministry leaders when it comes to fundraising.
Today, I want to share a few tips that will help you prepare and gear up for your next ask. Answering and learning to ask the following questions will prepare you for success.
What is the problem your organization solves? • Use a staggering statistic to illustrate the problem, need, or cause
How did your organization get started? • Frame how your organization was formed around the problem
What does your organization do? • How you solve the problem
Why are you personally involved/connected to this cause? • Making a heart connection
What has your organization accomplished recently? • 30,000 ft. view
What are your current goals? • More people served, new programs, new facility, expanded capacity, etc.
What it will cost to fund these goals (or one specific goal)? • Be prepared to talk numbers
Asking Permission to Ask
Ask, “What interests you most about our ministry?” • Their answer will reveal their passion
Ask, "Would you like to hear how the community (donors / partners) is supporting us to reach our fundraising goals to accomplish _______________ this year?" • Give specific examples: "One of our partners who shared your same concern (or passions) felt led to give $X. With his gift, we were able to accomplish XYZ. Another partner decided to give $X. Her gift allowed us to accomplish XYZ."
• Examples lead them to think about their own return on investment
Affirm, "In listening to your passions (or concerns), I think you may be interested in supporting_________[insert particular program or need]. • Remember, donors like to solve problems. You are the "guide" with "a plan" showing them "how they can solve a problem".
Ask, "Would you consider supporting ____________[insert particular program or need] with a gift of $X? • Give a specific number or range
I know this is awkward, but give them time to process. Wait for them to answer you.
Objections: "I need to pray about it" or "I need to ask my spouse". You: "Yes, very important! When should I check back with you?"
Objections: "I have already given my charitable gifts this year." You: "Wonderful! You are making a great difference in our community. Would you be open to re-visiting this next year?"
Remember, fundraising is a lifestyle. Until your mission is fulfilled you’re always fundraising. We are here for you!