An Executive Director's point of view
January 25, 2017: Ask for more
Ask individual donors for a bit more than you think they are prepared to give. It may cause them to fork over more and they may even be flattered to have been asked for a higher amount, feeling their gift will be of greater help to the organization.
But don't ask for too much more. That will give the impression you really don't know them and aren't properly matching your ask to their situation.
Ask grantmakers for a bit more than you think they want to give. Even if they like your proposal, they may still scale down their support, wanting to leave something for others. So, prompt them to scale down from a higher position.
But don't ask for too much more. They'll think you haven't read their giving policies and that you have overvalued your programs.
Ask sponsors for a bit more than you think they'll pay. It will get them to consider a larger purchase and may cause them to think more highly of your activity.
But don't ask for too much more. They may think you are gouging them and that you really don't understand how selling works.
Always ask for a little bit more than you think you'll get. You may get it.
December 28, 2016: I'm not a donor
But I did not make a recent donation.
Just because somebody is on a prospect list doesn't mean they've ever been a donor.
So, before you disseminate pleas of support, be sure you are communicating with recipients correctly.
(NOTE: I did not respond to this latest appeal and I am not inclined to give anything to this group anytime soon.)
December 19, 2016: A "suggested" donation
One study says, "it depends."
What do you think?
December 15, 2016: They don't have money
That is hardly a stunning finding.
Millennials have less money than older generations, so of course they were less likely to make contributions.
October 13, 2016: Don't just fight the good fight
Institutional donors (foundations, corporation, etc.) have always favored results over merely "doing good."
That's why they carefully examine an organization's governance, staffing, fund-raising, and operations before making grants or contributions. They want to be sure the group can actually succeed.
Individual donors are moving in that direction, too. Many want to know their money will be used to achieve results, not just to "fight the good fight." They want to be able to witness victory.
Some people may still react to emotional appeals and donate to "good causes." But organizations need to focus more on results as people show greater concern about the effectiveness of their contributions.
Your organization or cause must be able to prove that it can actually do what it claims it can do.
May 18, 2016: Oops!
April 04, 2016: Online fundraising
November 18, 2015: Just say thank you
November 17, 2015: Ask for money...but not right now
So, don't ask for money every time you communicate with people. Instead, involve them in activities that build their commitment to the cause or organization so they'll want to contribute when the time comes.
They should feel they are welcome participants in an important quest, not the targets of a money-grubbing machine.
Share information with supporters, engage in conversation, create fun venues, and make them value their participation in the community you've created together.
You can ask for money later.