Are you willing to ask your donors for more money? What would it mean to your organization if you asked your current donors for a second gift? Do you think that because they have given once this year you shouldn’t ask them again?
If you are willing to ask your donors for more money, here are ten things to consider as you prepare to ask.
Ten Steps to Asking Your Donors For More Money:
- Share what your organization is doing now
- Share organization’s recent (and current!) successes and how donor’s gift made a difference
- Share your vision and goals – what you are seeking to accomplish. Be concrete.
“The current economy is impacting our students ability to stay in school. There are 32 seniors who will be unable to graduate this June because they have lost their jobs or their parents have lost their jobs. We are seeking to raise $232,000 to help ensure all our seniors graduate.”
- Communicate what it will take for your organization to deliver on its vision and goals. Let your donor know how much money you need to raise, how many volunteers you need, what type of technology you want to implement, what size building you want to rent or buy, what type of training your clients are seeking…
- ASK for opinions, questions and advice –
“How do you think we should go about trying to accomplish this?”
“How should we proceed?”
“You’ve been a volunteer for a long time, do you think this will work?”
“I know your graduating class tried something similar – what guidance would you offer us as we move forward?”
- LISTEN and affirm. If you ask someone for advice, questions or guidance, take it in. Do not argue or negate what the person says. You asked for his opinion, listen to it and respond in a positive manner.
“Jack, I like that idea. I’ll share it with Monique and see if she can integrate that into our plan.”
- Share your plan for how you will raise the additional money you need.
“Sonya, I am looking for 15 people to give $500 between now and June so we can meet the projected $7,500 shortfall in the after-school program.” PAUSE.
- ASK the person you are talking with if they are interested making this happen and who they think would want to join them.
“Rev. Chang, would you be interested in supporting the new breast cancer survivor program at the hospital?” PAUSE. Are there people who you feel would want to join you?”
- ASK the person you are talking with if they would be willing to increase their giving.
“Ramon, would you and your partner be willing to increase your pledge from $5,000 to $10,000?” PAUSE.
Note: we write PAUSE after so many of our suggested talking points because we want to make sure you pause and let the other person share their thoughts. Giving the other person time to talk and LISTENING to what they have to say is vitally important to sustaining your relationship with your donors. And with your friends!
Word of Caution: Do not treat your donors as an ATM machine. Do not expect that because your organization has a financial need that your donors should AUTOMATICALLY fill that need.
– Mel and Pearl Shaw