"The #1 Reason People Give Is Because They Are Asked"
This slogan was emblazoned on posters in nearly all of the call centers where I have worked. Asking, almost as much as relationships, is key to successful fundraising. I have said that new major gift officers should be made to spend some training time in the call center, asking. The concentrated experience in persistent asking would accelerate their learning curve.
This truth that asking is at the core of fundraising was brought home to me recently from an unlikely source: my 18 month old son. My 6 year old daughter had just received $5 from her grandmother to get a "subaru" (her word for a souvenir) on our next trip. My baby son stood in line behind her and waited patiently for "his" money. Obviously, the baby didn't need $5 but she hunted in her purse and gave him a dollar. He was quite pleased with his results. (See photo above).
I posted the cute picture on Facebook and someone said "Oh gosh, another fundraiser in the family!" and I realized the meaning of the photo. My mother gave because she was asked. It didn't occur to her that baby boy had a need until he expressed it. He asked and was rewarded.
Donors can have a relationship with us, admire our organizations and the work those institutions do in the world and still not give to us financially. If we do not state our needs and desires and set expectations about the kind of support we want to receive by ASKING, we will not get the gifts. You must ask.
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Jessica Cloud, CFRE
I've been called the Tasmanian Devil of fundraising and I'm here to talk shop with you.