Step Up Your Ask With These Proven Strategies

We are coming up on year-end and, as usual, there is one thing on fundraisers’ minds:

“How can I effectively use this season to ask for gifts?” 

I hope you are not thinking of using these themes or phrases in your appeals: 

“Please help us”             

“We need you”

Or, worse

“We work so hard and do such good work – you should give to us”

Use a proven ask strategy – one that donors respond to.

Here are two highly effective ask strategies that will encourage donors to give more – especially this year-end. 

These are not new strategies. Many people use this kind of wording.  But we want to remind you – once again – to format your asks correctly. You’ll raise more money if you do! 

1. The Gap Approach

The Gap approach frames a gift conversation in specific dollars. It shows the donor exactly what impact they can make with their gift. 

This approach also adds a sort of power, energy, and urgency to the gift conversation.

Remember, donors give because they want to make a difference. This type of approach inspires and excites the donor about what they can accomplish through your organization. 

Here’s an example: 

“Our current funding can support only 1,000 after-school kids this year. Our data shows that at least 500 other children really need help. 

We seek funding to reach these other 500 children. Your gift of $XXX, will help ensure these kids will get help. 

Think about it. Wouldn’t you say yes? 

(Thanks to our friends at Benevon for the original thinking on this idea.)

2. The MPI Fundraising Formula

As you may have guessed, MPI stands for “Money + Purpose = Impact.”  You ask the donor for a certain amount of money, for a specific purpose, and then describe the impact this gift will make

This approach forces you to be crystal clear about the three fundamental parts of any formal ask. Use this concept in every single ask: digital appeals, direct mail, GivingTuesday, event sponsorships, and especially major gift asks. 

The MPI formula works because you are offering the donor a concrete goal. You are connecting your donor to a specific impact that they can make with their gift. 

Telling donors exactly how you will spend their money helps build trust. When a donor trusts you and feels good about the impact they made – they will keep on giving.  

BOTTOM LINE: Last Tips For Your Ask

1. You always need to say exactly how much you need to raise.

Please don’t be one of those nonprofits who say “we need to raise as much as possible!” That may be true, but it’s not going to inspire your donor. Always, always ask for a specific amount. 

2. The specificity of your appeal triggers your donor’s generosity.

What exactly do you want to fund? What are you wanting to accomplish? Be clear about your purpose, and don’t be afraid to tell donors what could be achieved, with their help.

3. Always focus on the impact. It’s the most important part of the ask! 

When you add the impact and the project, you make it not so much about the money. Instead you make it about the powerful good that your donor will be doing in the world.

 

As always, it is a pleasure to share our weekly news and insights with you. 

If you are planning a capital campaign and would like to learn about our unique Capital Campaigns by the Numbers approach, let us know. You can also join our INSIDERS community for more fundraising training and content. We would love to have you! 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.