How to Prime Your Donors for the Ask with the Jedi Mind Trick

Let me be honest. Its no secret—asking for a major gift is ... scary. It’s one of the biggest challenges fundraisers face.

It’s a personal question which enters what is considered a taboo area of conversation—someone else’s money. Even after years of experience, every donor conversation is personal and therefore different. There’s always the unknown.

My Big Fundraising Failure—and What You Can Learn from It

In October, I rolled out a fundraising appeal for our new Training, Facilitation, and Consulting Certificate Program with Marlboro College.

The Three Keys of Asking for a Gift

When asking for a gift, what counts most, aside from preparation, are three variables: your attitude, your ability to close the sale, and a realistic notion of the next step. In my book, Fundraising Realities Every Board Member Must Face, I address the whole gamut of soliciting major gifts, but here I’ll focus on these three elements.

Your Engine of Impact: Funding

Somewhat paradoxically, most nonprofit executives and board members spend more time and effort on financial matters than their counterparts in the business sector do. For people in the nonprofit sector, that’s an unfortunate fact of life, since asking for money can be fraught with psychological complexity. Indeed, even bold leaders of extraordinary nonprofits sometimes become remarkably timid when the need to ask for money arises. 

Mind Reading Is NOT in a Fundraiser’s Job Description

The master fundraiser Steve Haddad once said to a development novice, “Your job as a fundraiser is to ask for the gift. The donor’s job is to decide how to respond. Don’t try to do the donor’s job.” That simple distinction, if taken to heart, is very liberating.

Key Strategies for Fundraising by Telephone

Should you ask for gifts by telephone?

Indeed, you should!

Why? Because the number one reason people don’t give is because they aren’t asked.

Three Insights That Will Help You Raise Big Bucks

On September 18, I launched a free online workshop called Don’t Ask, Don’t Get. It’s designed to help fundraisers—development folks, executive directors—anybody who asks one-on-one for donations for a living.

In one part of the workshop I’ll teach you important lessons you need to understand when it comes to asking for the big bucks. Today I want to share three of them with you.