What? Me ask someone for money?
From October to December nonprofits concentrate on fundraising. This year is no different, and for many the imperative to fundraise is stronger than ever: funds must be secured to meet increased needs and increased costs of delivering services. Many of us are timid about asking others to give their money to a nonprofit: bottom line: we are afraid of rejection, especially from someone we know!
Here’s the secret to fundraising: you have to ask for people to give. Yes, there is a lot of unrequested giving going on right now. That is awesome – and it represents an awakening to the urgent avalanche of needs unleashed by COVID-19, the reality of systemic racism, climate change, and the upcoming elections. People are awake and giving, if they can. The secret is you have to ask.
Share the impact your nonprofit makes – what you have done this year and what you will do next year. Share stories from those whose lives have been changed as a result of donations given by donors. Use direct mail, social media, and/or online giving campaigns. Encourage your board members, donors, and volunteers to personally talk with potential donors and ask them to make a gift.
Personally, asking another person to make a gift to a nonprofit you believe in can be the scariest aspect of fundraising. But, good things can happen when you break through your fears. “I was waiting for them to ask me. I send something each year, but no one has ever talked to me.” Here’s a snippet of a conversation we heard just this week “He called me and said he met me earlier in the year and wanted to know how he could get involved and give.”
You get these results when you talk about the work of your organization and the fact that you rely on donations to continue your work.
Here are three suggestions to help you start a conversation about giving.
- Be prepared. Know who you are talking to. What about your organization is a match with their passion and priorities? How much do they already know about your organization? Be ready to briefly share why you are involved. Share what the nonprofit is raising money for, your commitment, and the amount that you have given.
- MAKE THE ASK. Be sure to ask for the gift. “I would like for you to make a gift. Would you be willing to contribute $___?” Ask for a specific, reasonable and challenging amount: not too small and not too large. Pause after you ask. Don’t rush to fill the silence. Give the person time to respond and they will.
- When someone says YES, thank them and ask how they want to make their gift, for example, online from the website, with a text or a check. If they say NO, ask if there is a different amount they would be willing to give. Regardless of the outcome, always say Thank You!
Copyright 2020 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you find your way through this unknown time. Video and phone conferencing services always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com