3 Tweaks to Get Your Fundraising Back on Track
The donor choked on the first ask, laughingly saying he’d just given his first $250,000 away and needed the dust to settle on that. But he willingly accepted the second ask. This allowed my client to have visibility, media coverage and the best annual event the organization has had.
If he’d just had the first ask, he’d have taken the no and tried to fight for a couple thousand-dollar grant. Instead, he left the meeting with a gift that was equivalent to a five- or six-figure contribution to his nonprofit.
Tweak No. 3: Go for no
Last month in The Nonprofit Academy, we had a training by Andrea Waltz, the author of “Go for No!” Her perspective has revolutionized the fundraising experience for many of my clients.
Take a look at the list of your assignments that you hope will give this year. Now beside each name, write the date when that person said “no” to you. How many can you put an actual date on?
In my experience, we tend to interpret silence as a “no.” We assume that since they’re not communicating back to us, they’re not interested in us. We fill the silence with a story we’ve made up. But again, this is quite disrespectful. We end up making a giving decision for someone else, robbing him of the opportunity to invest in something he values. What gives us that right?
Without giving away the story of “Go for No!,” the idea is to respect donors enough to only stop when they ask us to. I know, I know — that immediately conjures up a picture of an overly aggressive salesman. Or of the Comcast person who won’t let a customer disconnect service. But that’s not you, is it?
In fundraising, it means letting the donor actually tell us she won’t be making a gift this year. If you don’t have that kind of clarity, your job is to get it.