Before the Ask• Create your fundraising plan, including donor pyramid• Gather or create your collateral materials• Research the prospect• Make the appointment
Fundraising Plan & Donor Pyramid• How much money overall does your organization need to raise?• How much money does your organization need to raise from individual donors?• What are you individual donor strategies?• How much do you need to raise from major donors?
A Sample Pyramid Amount Number of Gifts Total Gifts $25,000 1 $25,000 $10,000 1 $10,000 $5,000 3 $15,000 $2,500 6 $15,000 $1,000 12 $12,000 $500 16 $8,000 $250 24 $6,000 $100 40 $4,000 Average of $50 100 $5,000 203 $100,000Want more? Visitthirdspacestudio.com/?p=625
Collateral Materials• What do you already have? – Annual reports – Newsletters – News articles – Pieces of foundation proposals• What might you create? – Case statement – Pledge form• WARNING: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Prospect ResearchYour goal is to: Have the right person Asking for the right amount For the right program At the right timeFocus you research on the first three.
Prospect Research1. Right person – or right team – Find any social connections to organization – Match ask size, personalities, and program2. Right amount – Examine donor history with your organization, gifts to similar organizations, political giving (opensecrets.org) – Decide on a number, or a range for new donors3. Right program – Look at donor notes and other giving – Ask during the meeting!
Making the Appointment• No one right way to contact a prospect• Ideally, it’s done by your “right person”• Make clear that you want to discuss a gift: – “I’d love to talk to you about renewing your support this year.” – “Do you have time for me to update you on our work and talk about your support of our efforts?”• If you have trouble making an appointment, try asking for advice (Gail Perry: http://www.gailperry.com/2011/10/how-to-secure-the-face-to-face-visit/)
THE ASK• Crafting the ask• Practicing your questions and answers• What to do if….?
“Donors dont give to institutions.They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe.” G.T. Smith
Crafting the Ask• Create a draft script for the meeting, including questions for the prospect• Lay out specific roles for everyone at the meeting• Decide who is going to actually make the ask
Crafting the Ask• Practice the words you will use to ask for a gift: – “Would you be able to support us with a gift of $500 this year?” – “To launch this great new initiative, we really need donors at the $1,000 level. Would you be able to do make a gift at that level?”• Practice being quiet
Questions and Answers• Identify the five hardest questions a prospect could ask you about your project, organization, or request: – “I notice you had a surplus in 2010. Why do you need my donation?” – “I heard you had to fire your last ED. How are things going now?” – “Why are you spending your resources on printing materials in Spanish?”• Practice answering them with your team or a colleague
What to do if…?• The prospect says no.• You don’t know the answer to one of their questions.• They stand you up.• They want to give stock, land, or another non-cash donation.• They want something in writing.
Following the Ask• Recording relevant data• Following-up• Thanking• Involving appropriately
Recording Data• What is relevant? – Date, location, and length of meeting – Ask and result – Background details – Program interests – Involvement preferences• Record in paper files or in your online database• Be aware of access and security
Following Up• Thank donor for taking the time to meet with you, sharing advice, etc. even if they did not give• Provide any information you offered• Look for an opportunity to get them involved in the next month
Thanking• How do you thank donors? – Hand-written note – Official tax letter – Phone call from ED or Board member – Listing in your annual report or on your website – Thank you card from program participant – Letter from the ED with program results or organizational accomplishments
Thanking• Rule of thumb is to thank donors seven times before you ask them again.
Involvement: Cycle of EngagementOpen Thank the andDoor Track Engage Thank Thank and and Track Track Ask
“In good times and bad, we know that people give because you meetneeds, not because you have needs.” Kay Grace