All fall, we’ve been working through the basics of asking people for money with the simple four-step formula: R.E.A.L.

  1. Research,
  2. Engage,
  3. Ask, and
  4. Love ’em.

Now we begin focusing on “ask.” Some of you may be wondering why it’s taken so long to get here. After all, we started this series back in September!

Remember, the Get R.E.A.L. formula is designed to take the fear out of asking. Which do you suppose is easier:

  • walking up to a stranger and asking her to give money to your cause, or
  • calling a person you’ve gotten to know and ask them to invest in an aspect of your mission you know interests them?

If you don’t do the research and the engaging, you won’t get to know people. Not everyone is going to give to your cause, no matter how important your cause is. Doing the first two steps helps you weed out those folks who won’t be interested in giving and helps you focus your activities on the folks who will.

Do you remember the #1 reason why people don’t give money to nonprofits? Right. They aren’t asked.

So ask!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at various parts of the “ask.”

For now, here’s the question that’s helped my raise millions of dollars:

“I’d like to ask you to consider a gift of $5,000 to the campaign.”

Change the amount to fit your situation and keep practicing the question until it rolls off your tongue!

It will be a valuable tool in your fundraising tool belt.

May 2006 be even more of an Extreme Fundraising year for you than 2005 was!

21 Ways for Board Members to Engage with their Nonprofit's Fundraising book image

You'll discover the 21 ways each board member can help their nonprofit's fundraising - even if they don't like to ask for money!

As a bonus, you'll get free fundraising tips every other week too!

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