“Ask” is a term used widely on fundraising platforms. The first “ask” for your fundraiser is usually constrained to the people closest to you. This will mostly consist of your family and close friends. Most of whom already know why you need donations.
The second “ask” occurs when you start to share this fundraiser within your friend circles and close networks through text messages or by using social media. Currently, we are living in the age of the internet, and this has caused a certain kind of anonymity and complicated the process of asking for donations from people we do not know.
The third “ask” is when you return to your previous donors and request them to donate once again.
Reaching out to potential donors whom you have never met and asking them to donate to your cause, organisation, or fundraiser is an intimidating process.
Most of your donors will usually counter by asking the question, “why should we donate?” At that moment, you might not have an answer to their queries.
Well, we have some useful advice! Keep these tips in mind when asking for donations in person or via an online fundraising platform.
1. Research so you can read your donor’s mind.
Information is more accessible than ever before, thanks to the world wide web. This accessibility to hoards of information about donors gives you the ability to survey and learn how they talk and think about your cause. Using this information, critical questions about the kinds of words the donors use and the social topics they feel most passionate about can be answered.
More intimate insights into questions like what donors care most about and their history of giving can be explored.
Remember, every donor fears the risk of their money getting into the wrong hands. It is your job to research and come up with ways to connect with them at a personal level and get them to feel passionate about the cause. And how donating towards it will help on a bigger scale.
Simple research if done before starting a campaign can help you read donors minds.
Follow the next steps and asking for donations will be easier than you could ever imagine.
2. Form unbreakable relationships.
Building relationships takes time and is an ongoing process. Creating relationships with prospect donors, whom you are expecting a donation from requires effort.
For you to receive a positive response – and a donation, you need to appeal to every person’s interest. Whether this cause is for a long term or short term, your donors need to feel like they are a part of this fundraiser.
No donor wants to hear your voice only when you’re asking them for donations. Stay in touch with them regularly, unfold every story with them as they journey with you through the progress of your fundraiser. Keeping them updated and appreciating them is of vital importance.
Remember that even negative consequences can be framed with positivity. Your strength and positivity will inspire your donors. This will nurture your efforts of forming better relationships with the donors.
Well if you follow the next five steps, starting a fundraising campaign for your needs with Ketto will be the best decision you ever made.
3. Use various ways of communicating.
Even though your fundraiser may be on an online platform, you should be asking donations in person. Meeting your donors and talking with them is essential. It not only allows you to share your emotions verbally but also portrays your keen efforts to the donors.
The above method can take your fundraising efforts to the next level just as much as using the below mediums can.
- Letters & cards
- Phone calls
- Interaction on social media
- Facebook Posts
- Instagram Stories
Remember, communication is a gift, and your donors will surely appreciate these efforts.
4. Tell your story.
Most of the people whom you ask contributions from will not know much about you or your situation.
Tell your story and tell it well, no matter if it is in person, over the phone, via email or through social media posts. Keep your description short and simple.
In case you have more to tell, encourage your donors to visit your Ketto campaign page to read the full story – and become a part of it through their donations.
5. Pitch perfectly.
Everyone feels nervous right before speaking up publicly.
Alleviate this fear by practising your speech before you make your point. There is no need to memorise every sentence. Just review your speech a couple of times and those pre-stage jitters will go away.
You can also practice your speech in front of your colleagues and simultaneously make a note of your body language and correct any gestures. Remember to account for the odd range of queries that your audience may ask.
Don’t overthink, and you’ll do just fine.
6. Avoid being scared of rejections.
Not every person you approach is going to donate to your cause, understand that this is perfectly normal.
Don’t ever feel like your doing a bad job or you have started on the wrong note. Sometimes the people you approach are either distracted or have already committed to other causes. Make sure to take a note of these people who have not donated the first time you made contact with them, and you can always approach them politely at a later phase of your campaign.
Don’t bother prospective donors if they seem uninterested. Instead find creative ways through which they can be a part of your fundraising campaign, either by volunteering or attending events.
7. Thanks, thanks & thanks again.
Show your prospects sincere appreciation for their time, interest and dedication towards your cause and organisation. No matter how significant the amount, be sure to follow up with every single donor who has contributed towards your fundraiser.
Send out personalised appreciation letters to donors. Try to contact and be in touch with them via phone or email. Thank donors every time you meet them in person.
Highlight the highest donors in newsletters and award them at events. Donors love to be appreciated; it boosts their human nature of donating. Acknowledging donors during events also causes a ripple effect among other competitive donors. They could, in turn, contribute once again to be in the spotlight.
Demonstrating such appreciation further deepens the relationship and boosts donor retention.
Now you are equipped with seven tips on asking donations in person and through other mediums. Your fundraiser is undoubtedly going to outperform its initial goals and targets.
If you still, have questions? Be sure to consult our fundraising FAQ resource for more information on all things fundraising.