How do you ask for someone as a gift?

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How do you ask for someone as a gift?

Expert Articles

  • Political
  • Assessing Election Chances
  • Handling Negative Campaign Issues
  • How to Challenge and Beat an Incumbent
  • How to Handle a Tough Audience
  • Lessons from Recent Elections
  • Make Your Database Work as Hard as You Do
  • Strategies to Win an Election as Challenger
  • Targeting and Voter Identification
  • 10 Questions to Ask Before You Run for Office
  • The Ten Percent Difference
  • The Theory of Winning An Election
  • Two Campaign Activities Most Candidates Hate
  • Use a Campaign Issue Box
  • What Can We Learn from the 2014 Election?
  • Non-Profit
  • Four Ways to Ask For Contributions
  • Eleven Questions To Ask Before You Buy Donor Management Software
  • Spreadsheet versus Database
  • Tips for Everyone
  • Its Back to School
  • Don't Fall Behind

by Lori Jacobwith

I talk a lot about ways to raise money and not have to ask for the gift. . . but please dont get me wrong. . . there ARE times its important to make the ask.

Asking for the gift is part or all of your work if you have the position of:

  • Executive Director
  • Development Director
  • Major Gifts, Planned Giving, or Annual Gifts Officer
  • VP of Advancement, External Relations, Planned Giving
  • Board Chair
  • Fundraising Committee Chair
  • OR any other position that indicates you are in a leadership role at your nonprofit organization and part of your job is to raise money

If you are like many of the people I meet, you may be new to asking for gifts. You are excellent at other aspects of your job, but asking for gifts gives you sweaty palms and heart palpitations.

If thats the case, here are a few of my favorite lead-in phrases when asking others for a gift.

Someone Who Has Given $250 to $900 for at least one year:

Thank you for your gift of $xxx last year. Today Im here to invite you to join our giving society

NOTE: This is usually a gift of $1000 to $100,000 or more for five years.

Someone You Know Well and Are Comfortable Practicing On:

Im new to this whole asking people to make a financial contribution thing so I chose you to have my first conversation with. . . thanks for seeing me.

Then pause and smile. Wait to see what they ask or say before diving in and talking their ear off.

DO know ahead of time how much youd like to ask for, even if you never say the amount out loud.

DO ask them what they like to know or hear when they are asked for a contribution.

Someone Who Loves Your Organization With The Capacity To Give More:

Lets talk about what it will take to have your passion for our organization equal your gift size.

Once you say that sentence, be quiet and listen.

Have a mission moment story ready to share that allows the donor to see your excellent work and the costs of your work through the eyes of a grateful client/patient/student etc.

Make sure you show the value of a contribution at much larger gift amounts than the person has been giving.

Someone who Gives Regularly To Inspire To Move Up Your Giving Pyramid:

Its time to update you on your investments in our work and talk about any changes youd like to make in the size of your investment this year.

Be sure to share an update by sharing a mission moment story about someone whose life is different because of your work.

Make sure you show the impact of gifts at a dollar amount larger than the donor usually gives.

The point of any of these conversations is to be clear you are inviting a contribution. Make THEM feel comfortable about the conversation.

If you are worried about what to say and how to say it the focus is on the wrong person.

Focus on them. Not you.

This article was reprinted with permission of Ignite Fundraising. Copyright © 2016. Ignited Fundraising. All Rights Reserved. For more information about the author go to:

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