How To Ask For Money

Posted on 04/06/2016 - by Dan Allenby

How to Ask For MoneyThere are many reasons why people make charitable gifts. The #1 reason is because they’re asked. But asking for money doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Whether you’re a volunteer or a professional fundraiser, successful gift solicitations take work and practice. Here are a few guidelines to consider for your next solicitation:

  • Little yeses can lead to big yeses  – warm up your prospective donors by asking simple questions about themselves framed in a positive way. “Are you enjoying this beautiful fall weather we’re having?”
  • Preface each ask with a reason – know your case for support and be able to provide specific examples of how their gifts with have an impact.
  • Be specific, confident and precise – always ask for a specific amount. Avoid casual second attempts that start out like, “well then how about…”
  • Set the bar high – if at first you don’t succeed, you can always try again with a smaller amount. Once they say yes, you can’t ask for more.
  • Make it palatable or symbolic – giving $83.33 each month may be easier to swallow than giving $1,000 all at once. If it’s participation that you seek, consider asking them for a penny per grad year (e.g., $20.11 for someone who graduated in 2011.)
  • Be prepared to overcome objections – familiarize yourself with common refusal reasons. Prepare (and practice) a response to each one. “I understand. That is a lot of money, but we never know unless we ask.”
  • The one who speaks first loses – don’t let an awkward silence get the better of you. After your ask, sit quietly and wait for them to respond.

Above all remember that it’s a conversation, not an auction. People make their own decisions about giving. You’re just there to lend a hand.

Want to learn more? CLICK HERE for AGN’s Webinar on Face-to-Face Solicitations.