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Asking for Money: Fundraising 101
Be transparent and honest.
It happens all the time.
If you ask a group of people, most have recently done one of these two things.
They’ve asked someone for money
Or they’ve recently been asked for money, a donation, or a loan.
It’s a very common thing in society and is becoming more common with the advent of sites such as Patreon and GoFundMe.
When someone asks you to lend them money to support them in their business, you usually receive interest in return.
Asking for donations is a bit harder because what the donor gets in return is less tangible.
You’re asking someone to give their money out of the goodness of their hearts.
When you’re asking for support for a good cause, it’s even more important that you present your request in a way that inspires trust.
“be transparent, be honest, give information, keep in touch/give bad news up front”
Always approach a potential donor by being polite and appropriately modest.
Asking for money is never easy.
It’s also not something that people tend to want to do. Fundraising isn’t a career most people decide to go into.
Be transparent and honest.
Tell them who your organization is and what they do.
Show that you understand your purpose.
Clearly communicate what your short-term and long-term goals are.
Show why your organization can be trusted.
Use words like; partner, give, and support. It puts you into a relationship with the donor.
Show them your progress in meeting your goals.
Anticipate the questions they will ask and have the information at hand, at your fingertips.
If you say I’ll get back to you on that, I’ll get back to you on that, you’ve already lost your donor.
Know the ins and outs of your organization, both on the ground and behind the scenes.
Know the risks and be able to answer questions on how you mitigate them.
Give people a chance to think about it. Ask for contact information so you can follow up.
Follow up. Even if you don’t think you will get the money
After the meeting is over, send them a follow-up card, thanking them for their time. Add a personal detail, comment on how welcoming they were, or some other personal touch.
Give them a few days to think about it, then follow up. Ask them if they would consider becoming a supporter.
Keep them informed.
Let them know how the organization is doing, even if they didn’t make a contribution.
As you build a relationship, a no might turn into a yes in the future.
This is one article in a series that explores how to be comfortable asking for money in different situations.
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