When Asking for Money, Don’t Take NO for an Answer!

We said ‘NO’ to John’s ‘ASK’ to partner with his vacation resort company.  (See last 2 blog posts for context.)

After our first ‘NO’ John offered us two other ways of joining in partnership with their company.  We said ‘NO’ to those also because they did not meet our needs.  Finally Jason hit our ‘open nerve’ and we said ‘YES.’

We were not offended by any of this for two reasons:

  1. We had agreed to a presentation and knew upfront they would ask us to partner.
  2. We had experience with this approach before, so we weren’t caught by surprise.

Most of the people you make a ministry presentation to, probably have experienced a missionary presentation for money.  But if not, your set up appointment will make it clear you are enlisting partners.  So they will not be caught by surprise if this is their first one.

What to do if they say ‘NO?’  Your objective is to keep the door open with these friends.  You have spent time together and built an initial relationship.  They have graciously listened to your mission and have some sympathy with it.  So keep them on board!

Here is a path you could follow to enlist them as partners after a ‘no’ or two.

Give them alternatives to their objections.

1.  “We’re tight on funds at the moment, so I don’t think we could give now.”  or “I don’t think we’ll be able to give at this time.”  “Is there a time in the future I could recontact you about financial partnership to reach the poor in Zambia?”

2.  after the above . . . “I honestly don’t think it’s going to work out for us to provide any monthly support.  We’re stretched to our limit.“Well, thank you so much for considering to help us in that way.  One other way you could strategically contribute now is toward our moving costs.  To get out there to Zambia we need $10,600 in one-time cash gifts.  Is a one-time gift for that need something you might be able to do now or soon?

3.  after the above . . . “Yes, we could surely help you with that project.”  or  “Dave, I’m sorry we just can’t give anything at this time.”  “Well, that’s okay.  I really appreciate the time you’ve given me tonight and the interest in our work.  I’m wondering if you would like to continue following us as we get out of here and over there.  Could I put you on our email list for monthly updates?

This shows how you can accomplish your objective of keeping them on the team after they say ‘no’ to your first ask.  With this scenario, you’ve graciously offered them three more ways they could stay involved and partner with you.

If they say ‘yes’ to recontact, they indicate the door is not closed from their side.

If they give to your project, they indicate a level of commitment to you and your work.

If they give you their email address for your mailing list, they stay connected with you and your work.  Almost 100% will take this step.  It costs them nothing and they can always ‘unsubscribe’ later if totally uninterested.

But if they stay with you and you do your job well of educating and building loyalty, they might give to your next project, and if they do that, on your next furlough you could get another face-to-face appointment to ask for monthly support.

They could give you another ‘no.’  But if it’s a ‘yes, let’s meet!’ — you probably have another monthly donor!

Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.”  — Ezra 10:4 (ESV)


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