EPISODE 5: THE ASK
13 March 2016
No fundraising campaign has ever been successful without asking your donor what you want from them.
Once you have established and shared your NEED, CAUSE and IMPACT you need to ASK.
You can ask your donors for a variety of things:
- You may be asking people to volunteer
- You may be asking for introductions to others who can help
- More often you will be asking your audience to DONATE.
Not asking is the number 1 reason that any fundraising campaign or event fails to reach their target.
There are some key things to consider to ensure your ask has its best chance possible to be successful:
WHAT MAKES A GOOD ASK?
1. Let donors know what you are asking them to do
A good ask let’s your donor know EXACTLY what you want them to do. Whether it be to volunteer, introduce you to others or DONATE, you need to let your donor know what it is you are asking of them.
2. Be exact with what you want from donors
It is a good idea to give your donors an indication of how much money (or time) you want from them. Set your expectations as this will give direction to donors about how much they should donate to make a meaningful difference to those you are helping.
3. Link Donations to an outcome
The most successful fundraising campaigns are those which link an achievable, realistic and tangible outcome for the ask.
The most successful fundraising campaigns seen around the world, such as “Sponsor a Child” campaigns follow this rule precisely. Their call to action is “$1 per day will provide clean drinking water for a child in need” or something similar to this. These campaigns are not asking donors for a $1 donation, they are actually asking for $365 per year, however the ask of $1 per day rather than $365 is far more achievable and the outcome of providing clean drinking water is something really tangible and emotive to compel the donor to give.
An example in sport could be: “$25 can provide a ball to a child who has never been able to afford their own one before” or “$50 buys a bus ticket to send 1 player to the state titles, representing our club against the best in the state”.
The ask is your opportunity to link the emotion created within your NEED, CAUSE and IMPACT with an outcome that will make the donor feel both compelled to donate and proud to be able to help in such a meaningful way.
By linking your ask to an outcome, it enables to you create short form versions of your story, as your ask can include the impact easily and it is best practice to focus on linking your ask to the impact and change the donation will help achieve.
The final thing to remember is to include at the end of your ask the ways in which donors can donate, make sure this is a simple and as short a process as possible, such as creating a hyperlink directly to your ASF donation form or including your manual form or URL if you are asking via printed materials or at an event.
Statistics show that for every step you ask a donor to take in order to make their donation, there is a drop-off rate of up to 50%, so making the opportunity to donate immediate and easy at the time you are asking is your best chance of receiving donations.
Mark Thompson Director of Fundraising