The hardest part of running a nonprofit is asking for donations. Asking for money is not a very comfortable experience, especially when you consider that often, fundraising involves asking for money from strangers. However, fundraising is a crucial aspect of a nonprofit’s operations, and there are polite ways to ask for monetary donations that not only ensure a successful contribution but also prevent any rift between the organization and the donor.
Focus on the Donor
The best way to receive a positive response that comes from a good interaction is to appeal to the donor’s interests. Each individual is different, which is why you must understand your donors and know what appeals to them; use this information to address the cause being supported by the donations. If you know that a particular donor would respond well to a warm, lighthearted email, you can send them one that is tailored specifically to them instead of using a templated ask.
Make sure to mention how the donation will be utilized. Assure the donor that they are appreciated and that their contributions will not be in vain.
You don’t need to use a formula for your donation requests. Asking for donations is difficult, so using creative ways to do it will not only lighten the tense atmosphere of having to ask for money but will also make the donor more likely to want to give. Most donors tend to appreciate the creativity used to highlight a cause and ask for donations. Veering away from traditional methods will not only make your fundraising efforts stand out but will also make it easier to make the request for money.
Don’t try to use vague ways to ask for money – be specific and honest. After all, your nonprofit can only operate on funds, and those funds have to come from somewhere. Donors also understand this. When asking them for money, be open about the fact that you are fundraising. Be clear about why you are doing so in your current situation and what the desired outcome of your efforts is. Being honest will increase your credibility. Being open and transparent about the expenses for which you are asking for money can also help. Potential donors will appreciate honesty and be more likely to donate.
Don’t Surprise Your Prospect
Make it clear in the very first interaction you have with prospect donors that you are looking for donors towards your cause. Be clear about the fact that, while you are interested in them as a person, there is a deeper purpose for your visit – in your case, you are looking for donors. That way, they will be prepared for responses, questions, and objections and will not be startled if you suddenly bring up the topic of monetary donations. If your potential donor is ever surprised that you are asking for money, then know that something has gone wrong in your interactions with them.