How to Ask for Donations
Posted on February 7, 2021
Asking for donations is something that transforms people into a bundle of nerves! But because it is the staff of life for nonprofits, it just cannot be neglected. We understand this to its core and that is the reason we have compiled a list of 8 tips to ask for donations for a fundraiser.
8 Tips to Ask for Donations
Asking someone for donation in-person is a daunting task and an especially a time-consuming when someone has outsider’s view. You have to pitch your nonprofit’s mission and vision successfully to convince them to support your nonprofit monetarily. Luckily, we have some tips for you to pitch individuals for donations. Let’s have a look at the 8 best practices for asking for donations.
1. Know Exactly Whom to Ask
With a whole slew of information available online, finding out the right donors is not a hard nut to crack. But (of course, there is a but) only if you know whom to ask. That is the only catch!
For this, research, research, and research some more till you find donors that resonate with your cause.
Since your donors will most definitely fall into two categories: (a) individuals and (b) businesses, let us find out how they should be approached.
How to Ask Individuals for Donations:
According to the USA Giving Report 2019, donations by individuals made up 69% of total giving in 2019. This makes it more important for fundraisers to streamline their efforts in this direction. One major tip while asking individuals for charity is to be as genuine and honest in your appeal as you can be. There is no other way!
How to Ask Businesses for Donations:
Many companies have departments that dedicatedly work with charitable groups. There is a CSR (corporate social responsibility) budget allocated to philanthropic causes which makes it rather easy to raise funds through them. However, there are certain tips for fundraisers to be kept in mind which are as follows-
A) Connect with the right person (An intern will not know much while a manager will)
B) Make your cause & motive clear right at the beginning
C) Learn & follow the request procedures (if any)
D) Be kind & respectful in your dealings
While these tips are just the spike of the iceberg, let us find out what the other 7 tips to ask for donations are.
2. Know What You are Asking For
With myriad charitable options, it is important that you know what you are looking for. Monetary donations? In-kind donations? What? Be very clear and proceed accordingly. Here is a sneak-peek into how you can do so with efficiency.
How to Ask for Charity Donations?
Charity can be done in innumerable ways. While the easiest is to do it with cash, you might be looking for support in the form of school supplies, food, etc. Let’s discuss how to ask for donations when the two main types are involved.
How to Ask for Monetary Donations
As a matter of fact, trusting a sibling with money (let alone a fundraising platform) is difficult for any individual. You, therefore, need to have an emotional appeal that tugs at the heartstrings of your prospect donor, so s/he believes in you and your cause. Even though it is not a brain teaser, it is not a no-brainer too. With many lacking in this fundamental area, it becomes an important tip to ask for donations.
Also Read: Fundraising Trends 2021: Latest Trends for Nonprofits
How to Ask for In-Kind Donations:
Next comes the second category that involves charity in the form of goods and services. If you are looking for something like this as a fundraiser, make sure this comes across as crystal clear in your very first meeting/call/mail. Be polite. Acknowledge what the other person has to say. And sincerely feel connected to your cause. Energies and vibes about how you feel matter!
3. No Surprises, Please!
If the prospect donor does not get to know the aim of your conversation in the initial 5 minutes, you are doing it all wrong.
4. Be Ready to Take No(s) For an Answer
While some will say yes, a lot of them will say, “No” to making donations. Prepare your mind beforehand and do not get demotivated by these acts. It is something that is bound to happen. Also, do not ask more than twice. You can try convincing them, sure, but make sure they are not irritated by the same.
5. Follow Up
We live in a world where even the idlest person is BUSY doing nothing. Considering this, if the prospect donor commits to donate but forgets, it is understandable. Following up and sending reminders is, thus, of the utmost importance.
6. Express Gratitudes
Once the donation is done, send an acknowledgment mail and thank them profusely.
7. Send Updates
Do not stop with Thank You(s). Keep them updated about your cause, your firm, its achievements, and more. Stay in touch to build everlasting connections. This will drive you funds from them in the long run as well.
8. Use Emails to Your Advantage
One major strength of using emails to talk about your cause and raise funds is that you can ask your inner circle of friends to forward it to theirs. This builds a chain that can help you meet the right people.
Now, after having discussed 8 tips to ask for donations, let us zoom in on the last one to understand what and how to write a donation email.
Also Read: Online Donations: Set Up Your First Donation
How to Write A Donation Email
While an email can make or break a situation, a touching, crisp mail will always make it. The question, however, is how to make an email sound appealing! This is not as difficult as you think if you follow the following tips:
Write to-the-point subject lines.
Do not beat about the bush in the body.
Cut right to the chase after the initial para.
Do not forget to give the details that will matter.
Keep it personal.
Make it easy for the donors to donate.
Provide links + ways for them to connect & know more.
Send acknowledgement mails once a donation is made.
Say thank you. More than once.
Stay in touch.
What Should A Donation Letter Say
If you do not want to go ahead with an email, a letter works just fine. Here is an example of how a donation letter should be drafted and what it should say.
Dear [donor’s name],
I am [name] and I am the [position] of [nonprofit’s name]. At [nonprofit’s name], we seek to help [fundraising mission] by [actions that have been taken by the nonprofit. Insert an emotional story about what your nonprofit has done so far and the lives they have changed. Give a specific example of your impact.]
While we have made some great strides, we still have a lot to accomplish.
We need your support to [new project or event that you are asking donations for].
Would you consider donating [donation amount, items, or services that you need] to help us achieve our mission?
If you have any questions, I would be happy to provide you with more information about how you can help support our work at [nonprofit’s name].
We greatly appreciate your donation, and it will be used to [insert how the donations will be used and the impact that this donation will have]. If you wish to contribute, please fill out the attached form or give us a call at [phone number].
Please join us! With your donation, we are one step closer to [insert goal]!
Now, the final question!
Which platform to use to succeed in fundraising? Well, we have an answer to that too! iConnectX is the platform dedicated to making the charitable process easy and convenient for the donors. All you have to do is get in touch with us either by giving us a call or by joining the live chat and we will take care of it all.