Making the Ask

Over the years, I’ve spoken to many clients about what they found the most difficult part of fundraising to be. Almost everyone gives me the same answer – discomfort around making the ask. This is understandable. We live in an individualistic culture where asking for help isn’t something we’re encouraged to do. In fact, it’s something that most of us are extremely uncomfortable doing. So, as fundraisers, how do we get past that and run successful fundraising campaigns?

I like the quote “I’ve tried raising money by asking for it, and by not asking for it. I always got more by asking for it” from the founder of Habitat for Humanity, Millard Fuller. It seems so simple. All we need to do is ask, right? There is truth in that, even if it is oversimplified. We do need to put ourselves out there and ask people for help, and asking for money can be especially daunting. A good thing to keep in mind is that people can always say no, and that’s fine, there’s no pressure. Instead of assuming people don’t want to help, communicate with them about why you’re asking, let them know about the important work that NEADS does. Show them our website, social media pages, invite them to graduation. Then allow them to tell you what they want. You may be surprised by how many people will step up for a good cause.

Also, keep in mind that every ask doesn’t always have to be for a donation. You can ask for help, for assistance, for support, for ideas. You could even build a fundraising team that will be excited to help you reach your goal and celebrate every success along with you. Fundraising works best as a community effort.

Most people enjoy helping others. When we help someone, it makes us feel good. It reminds us that we can each have a positive impact on our world. As fundraisers for NEADS, you’re in a position where you can offer people that opportunity. You can ask them to help support the incredible work that we do, and you can show them what a difference their involvement makes by keeping in touch with them through your fundraising page. Every single person who supports NEADS, in any way, is helping change lives for the better.