When fundraising hints around instead of asking

Here’s the “ask” in a direct mail appeal I recently looked at:

Some patient programs are entirely funded by philanthropy. Our donors recently supported new imaging equipment that will better serve our patients.

I only call it the ask because it’s as close as the piece got to asking.

Which is not asking.

This happens quite often in fundraising. I think it’s because many of us are just not comfortable with asking for money.

Treat your donors with respect: Speak to them clearly, like adults and partners. If you need them to give, just say so!

Hinting around at the ask is not donor love. It’s donor fear. Or even donor hate.

Also, hinting around raises considerably less money.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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