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The Anatomy of a Fundraising Ask

43 The Anatomy of a Fundraising Ask

Asking for money can be scary and awkward for many people. Some even consider asking for money a little taboo. But if you are going to be in the nonprofit world you must learn to make the ask. The best way to do that is to educate yourself and practice, practice, practice.
First, not every ask is for money. As you look over your organization’s contacts you may see several people who can make a significant in-kind contribution to your organization. Or you may see several people who need to become more familiar with your organization. They need to be cultivated before they will give.

For these people, the ask is not for money but for their time or talent. For example, you may ask them to come to an event or to sit in on a round table discussion.

Whether you are asking from time, talent, or treasure the anatomy of the ask is still the same.

As indicated by the word “ask” a good ask is an actual question inviting a donor to take a specific concrete step on behalf of your organization. So, an ask should start with words like, “Will you…” or “Would you be willing…” An ask should be presented in a clear, concise, and confident manner. Saying things like, “I hope at some point you will consider…” or “I’d really like it if you would…” is not an effective way to make a fundraising ask.

Second, an ask invites a person to take a concrete step. For instance, it could be a request to attend a special event, like us on Facebook, or consider making a gift. It must be a concrete call to action step. Asking someone to, “think about your role with our nonprofit” is not a concrete ask.

Finally, an ask should be specific. If asking for money you should ask for a specific amount, if asking someone to attend an event you should provide a specific date or if asking for an in-kind contribution you should ask for a specific item or service. “Will you consider a gift of $500 to our nonprofit?” is more effective than asking a donor, “Will you consider a contribution to our nonprofit?”

When people are asked for a specific amount or to take a specific action, they are more likely to give.

I hope this helps. Let me know in the comments. Sharing is Caring.

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