Asking Friends and Family for Donations
Asking friends and family for donations can seem like a daunting task. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be! Share your vision with prospective donors in the right way, and they’ll be almost as excited to give you money as you are to receive it. Here are some ideas that might help…
Have a conversation…
Getting someone for donations is not simply about asking for a hand-out. It’s not about asking for a favor, and it’s not about making them do something they’re not comfortable with. It is about sharing your vision and getting them excited about the impact they’ll help create. It’s about making them feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves, and making them feel good about their choice. Sound complicated? It’s not. Let’s break it down step-by-step, shall we?
Step 1) Share your Vision
You’re an inspired, passionate person. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be a part of this nonprofit. Let the inspiration free! Begin by telling people what you’re up to. Tell them about the problems you see around you that you’re setting out to change. Tell them what your organization is about, the impact you hope to make, and what your success will mean to your community. Tell them where you hope to take your organization, and how you’d like to see it grow. Tell them the challenges you’ll face, and obstacles you’ll need to overcome. Don’t preach. Share honestly and openly, and let them see your excitement. They’ll naturally get excited too.
Step 2) Include Them
Everyone wants to feel like they belong, and everyone wants to make a difference in the world. Now that they share your vision, let them know exactly how they can help make a difference. Don’t think of it as asking for money.
Think of it as creating an opportunity for them to make a difference.
Step 3) Follow Up
Whether they donate or not, always call or send a followup email. Thank them for taking the time to listen, and remind them it’s never too late to get involved. If they donated, great! Thank them again, and remind them how much their donation is making a difference.
Step 4) Build a Community
Keep in mind that support isn’t just limited to monetary donations. Volunteering, advocacy, brainstorming, and moral support all play a crucial role in the success of an organization.
Whenever you share the vision of your organization, you’re creating a community of people who know about, and are interested in what you’re doing. Those people are your base. Keep them up-to-date with all the latest developments. Thank them for their support whether they’ve donated or not. They’ll come back to support you in some remarkable ways down the road – financially and otherwise!
No means no. Or does it?
When we’re talking about making donations, what no really means is “not right now.” People have literally dozens of reasons they’re not willing to donate at a particular time, and it’s very likely you won’t have a clue what they are. Money may be tight. Maybe they had a bad day. Or, maybe they just need a little more information before they’re willing to commit. Who knows…
Be grateful no matter what their answer is. Best case scenario: they become a donor and make a significant financial impact on your organization. Worst case scenario: it’s just one more person who knows you’re fighting for a cause that matters. They’ll most likely follow your progress, and if you stay in touch with them, odds are they’ll end up donating at some point in the future.
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