Fundraising is the greatest challenge all not for profit, voluntary and charity organisations daily. We hear the stories of great projects and support programmes losing funding and closing their doors. The simple reason is there are so many good causes and not enough funds to go around.
I began working on all types of fundraising activities in my teenage years. Quite by accident – I had an idea, the event organiser said “Yes – if you can find a sponsor”. Everyone said it would be difficult but it wasn’t, I just asked business owners to help. I ended up with more money than I needed and it went to the organiser.
From that point forward, I was hooked.
Tip #1 – Ask
Luke FitzHerbet (former Director DSC – deceased) frequently explained that the Ask is critical.
Three points in creating the “Ask”:
- Make it clear you are asking
- Tell the whole truth – why the money is needed now!
- Explain how they will see the impact
Learning ask effectively is important. It is worth practicing! The Fundraising workshops we run focus on the practical elements of preparing to ask, asking and reptition. There aren’t specific rules in the face to face encounter, however, it is important that you know how the money is going to be used.
When approached in the street or at the door I always ask the fundraiser to explain how my donation is divided up. They are often paid, so how much of my donation goes to the company that is paying them? Who are the other recipients before the final beneficiary? This often presents a problem! Coming unprepared means they leave with nothing.
Fundraising Event – Asking
The bucket gets passed around and everyone is expected to drop money in for the charitable cause. Consequently, guests are intimidated into giving. However, the cause may not be mentioned but it should be clear to everyone where the funds are going.
The Event Ask requires greater transparency. So again make it clear that you are asking not demanding, not looking to embarrass them into giving. Treat the donors with the dignity and respect you want the beneficiaries to be shown.
Fundraising can be fun. Therefore, it should be productive and it must be fully accountable.
Getting the Ask right is a simple step to fundraising success.
Bid and Trust based fundraising requires the same approach to Asking. Contact the Tender Management team for more details of our training workshops, fundraising support and event management services.