When ‘Asking for Money,’ Make a Clear ‘ASK’!

We said ‘NO’ to John’s ‘ASK’ to partner with his vacation resort company.

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.

When he had exhausted his offers and saw we were not going to change our minds, he said, “If you could wait just another couple minutes, my colleague, Jason, would like to wrap this up.

John left and several minutes later Jason came to our table.  He introduced himself and sat down.  He said, “You have been patient enough to hear our presentation, and we didn’t meet your needs.  You are here and, of course, we don’t want you to leave without us meeting your needs.  I understand your need is . . .

We felt okay with this approach because he was upfront.  It made sense they would want to do everything they could while we were there to enlist us as partners.

He went on to correctly state how we looked at our vacation planning and felt needs.  Then he made an offer that specifically met those for us.  He told us the price, and then lowered the price.  His offer met our need and our pocketbook.  So we decided to say ‘Yes’ and made the buy.  Our vacation for next year in a warm climate is assured!

Here are a few lessons in fundraising we see from this experience

1.  It does pay off to answer the potential donor’s questions, and try to touch their felt need for giving to you.  That’s not an easy task but, try this . . .

2.  Analyze:  Why are they open to meeting with you and hearing your presentation?  Obviously they are open to the mission enterprise.  Obviously they like you enough to give you the time.  What is it about you and your mission that would meet a felt need of theirs?  Pray about this, and be alert to this as you meet with them.  In other words, be DONOR FOCUSED in your presentation.  It’s not about you, it’s about giving them a reason to partner with you.

Answer this question:  How will supporting you benefit them?  Build donor benefits into your presentation.

3.  an ASK:  “Joe, That’s what we’re up to as we head to Zambia.  And as I mentioned on the phone, we need financial partners to help us get there and minister there.  You were gracious enough to give me this time to share, so I’m wondering if you would consider being one of our Partners?

4.  If ‘YES.’  “That’s wonderful news for me!  Did you have a certain amount of monthly support in mind you could kick into the cause?

5.  If ‘YES.’  There’s some discussion among fundraising trainers that it’s good to offer an amount to potential donors.  This assumes you have done a little homework and understand their financial picture and means.  If they live in a gated community, own their business, and are generous people, you could suggest a high number.  If retired, the picture might be different.

Suggestions:  “That’s wonderful news for me, Joe!  Would you be able to provide $300 per month to the cause?”  This could challenge them to give me than they had in mind,  “I was thinking of $200, but I suppose I could go with $300” . . .

or they will say, “I was thinking of $150, and that’s about what I can do.

They will make the final decision so relax and be BOLD!

(Next blog post will cover the ‘NO’s’)

“Get up, for it is your duty to tell us how to proceed in setting things straight. We are behind you, so be strong and take action.” — Ezra 10:4


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