The Ask | Laura Fredricks

Summary of: The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project, or Business Venture
By: Laura Fredricks

Introduction

Embarking on a journey to demystify the world of fundraising, ‘The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project, or Business Venture’ by Laura Fredricks delves into the intricacies of soliciting financial contributions. The book equips nonprofit directors, board members, and volunteers with essential tools and strategies needed for effective fundraising. Discover the importance of cultivating prospects, the art of tailoring each donation request, and the ways to approach potential donors with tact and elegance. Embrace approaches such as the ‘Soft’, ‘Direct’, and ‘Share Yourself’ to establish meaningful connections with your prospects and transform your cause into a compelling case that resonates with your audience.

The Art of Fundraising

Nonprofit organizations rely on fundraising for survival, but it’s not an easy task. Fear of rejection is common, but fundraisers must rise above it to secure financial gifts. This requires courage and skill, which can be learned and developed. The book emphasizes that fundraising is an important endeavor, and anyone involved with nonprofits must be prepared and make the ask. Remember, fundraisers are made, not born.

Mastering the Art of Fundraising Asks

The key to securing a donation during an “ask” is preparation. Understand your potential donor and their attitude towards money. Take a soft, direct, or share yourself approach, depending on the situation. Cultivate prospects and determine their readiness to donate. Treat each prospect as an individual, pay attention to their characteristics, and identify the best time to make the ask.

Asking the Right People

Finding the best person to ask for donations can be challenging. Every ask is unique, and the most successful asker might not be who you expect.

Are you struggling to determine who should be asking for donations in your organization? It’s crucial to identify all potential candidates, including board members, volunteers, and staff members. Consider each person’s level of expertise and motivation to ask for money, as well as their availability for fundraising tasks.

When it comes to the actual fundraising, it’s important to put yourself in the donor’s shoes. The person asking for money should be someone that the donor knows and respects. In some cases, it may be best to have a two-person team make the ask, rather than overwhelming the prospect with too many people.

Remember, every ask is unique, and success depends on finding the right person for each situation. Don’t assume that the person with the most experience or the highest job title is always the best option. By carefully considering each potential asker and their individual strengths, you can maximize the effectiveness of your fundraising efforts.

Essential Tips for Successful Fundraising

Adequate preparation and thoughtful consideration of a prospect’s file, interests, and means are crucial for a successful gift proposal. Reflection on timing factors and potential assets is also necessary. When conducting an ask, choose a suitable location and avoid negotiating a specific gift amount. Recognition is important, but its level should not compromise the value of the gift.

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