Embracing the art of asking
Silvia Bueso on unlocking major gift fundraising awesomeness!
Hey there, fundraising rockstars! Let’s dive into the fine art of asking for donations, because, let’s be honest, it can be pretty intimidating, right? But fear not!
I’m going to break down precisely why asking gets our knees knocking, how we can shift our mindset to crush it, and introduce the super cool ‘Art of Asking Method’ to really maximise those major gift donations.
I’m here to empower all you Aussie and Kiwi fundraising pros to own the ask and
make it rain!
WHY ASKING IS INTIMIDATING
So, why does asking make us break out in a cold sweat? Here are a few reasons:
Fear of rejection. We’ve all been there. The dreaded “no” can feel like a punch in the gut, making us hesitant to even put
ourselves out there.
Fear of bothering people when making the ask. Nobody wants to feel like they’re interrupting someone’s Netflix marathon or invading their personal space.
Keep in mind that people have the power to say “no” — it’s their choice, and that’s perfectly fine. But here’s the thing: you’re not forcing them into anything. You’re simply extending an invitation, sharing the amazing work your organisation is doing, and giving them an opportunity to contribute.
Negative perceptions. Society tends to view asking as a bothersome nuisance. It’s like we’re knocking on doors and interrupting people’s lives to ask for their hard-earned cash.
Mindset monsters. Sometimes, we let self-doubt creep in. We question if our
cause is worthy enough or if we’re skilled enough to make a compelling ask. It’s time to kick those doubts to the curb!
HOW TO CHANGE OUR MINDSET ABOUT ASKING
Let’s flip the script and embrace a kick-ass mindset that’ll turn us into fearless
The power of purpose. Get fired up about your mission! When you’re deeply connected to the impact of your cause, it’ll shine through in every ask you make.
Building authentic relationships. Forget the sales pitch. Build genuine connections with potential donors. Show them you care about their passions and values. It’s all about creating a partnership, not just asking for cash. Look at the work of
Cris Contra El Cáncer. These fundraising superstars turned their events into a heartfelt invitation. By building authentic relationships, they scored major gifts and formed long-term partnerships. Boom!
Confidence through preparation. Know your stuff! Dive deep into your cause, understand the impact you’re making, and always be ready to drop some knowledge bombs when making your ask. Confidence is contagious! Reframe ‘asking’ as ‘inviting’. Swap out that transactional vibe for an
inclusive and collaborative approach. Let potential donors know they’re joining a movement, an awesome team making a difference together.
HOW TO USE YOUR ‘ART OF ASKING METHOD’ TO FACILITATE MAJOR GIFTS
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the ‘Art of Asking Method.’ It’s like your secret weapon to unlock major gift donations.
Understand the donor’s perspective. Put on your detective hat and discover what makes your potential donors tick. Listen, learn and customise your ask to align with their passions and motivations.
Tailor the ask. Personalise, personalise, personalise! Show donors exactly how their contribution will have a massive impact on your cause. Make it irresistible!
Take Fundación Aladina: These guys nailed the ‘Art of Asking Method’. They
dug deep, understood their corporate donors’ passions, and tailored their asks.
Sharing impact stories sealed the deal, resulting in some serious moolah.
Craft compelling narratives. Everyone loves a good story. Share real-life tales of success and show donors the incredible difference they can make. Emotion sells, my friends!
Leverage personal connections and networks. Time to tap into your social circles. Use personal connections to reach new donors and strengthen
existing relationships. Let’s create an army of passionate advocates!
Asking is the noble art of teaching people the pleasure of giving. It’s about recognising the significance of asking and acknowledging its role in creating positive change.
Let’s give asking the recognition it deserves and embrace it as a powerful tool for connecting passionate donors with causes that truly matter.
Asking is an art, and you, my fellow fundraisers, are the artists. Now go out there and let your asking prowess shine!
Silvia Bueso is a professional coach, speaker, author and consultant. She has worked as a fundraiser for the ESADE Foundation and held leadership roles in corporate communications at various organisations.
She has created a method known as “El arte de pedir” (the art of asking), a technique for developing the ability to ask with confidence and assertiveness in order to raise funds, speak persuasively, draw in and keep clients, or redefine one’s career.
Credits: F & P Magazine