Making an Ask? Get R.E.A.L.
Fundraising consultant Marc Pitman, publisher of fundraising coach.com, is a fan of keeping it real. His book, "Ask Without Fear!" is based on the acronym R.E.A.L.:
- Research (your goal and your prospects)
- Engage your donors
- Love them (after all, even if they say "no" it may only be a "no for now")
Armed with that seemingly simple information, Pitman believes, "anyone can ask." Pitman's first DVD, based on the book, is geared toward helping teach board members and other volunteers how to be effective fundraisers.
"I start out with why I feel fundraising is an amazing privilege," Pitman says. "And I really do. We get to talk to people about their values and hopes and the legacy they want to leave. Who wouldn't get excited about that?!
"There's also a section on the DVD that staff members can play to get their boards to help them with a very specific prospect research exercise," he adds. "I give the instructions right to the board. I think this clip alone will be amazingly powerful for helping nonprofits get their boards more engaged with fundraising."
Here, Pitman talks about board members and fundraising.
FundRaising Success: What is the biggest stumbling block when it comes to boards and raising money?
Marc Pitman: I think the biggest stumbling block is fear. We've all been asked poorly. And board members don't want to be "that guy" to their friends. What is most helpful is reminding board members that their passion for the organization puts them most of the way along the path of effective asking. And even if they don't ask the dollar amount, they can be very helpful as "door openers," introducing leadership to influential friends and staying with them during the ask.
It's fun to watch board members come to life when they hear this and see a simple way to ask!