3 little-known best times to ask a donor for money

  1. Within 4 weeks after they’ve given. Hands down, without question, the best time to ask a donor to give is soon after they’ve given. A lot of nonprofits operate on the opposite assumption — that recency predicts unwillingness to give again. If you’re avoiding contact with recent donors, you’re losing significant opportunities to bond with happy, involved donors.
  2. When you urgently need the money. Donors want to be wanted. A chance to save a life or preserve program (or the whole organization) from oblivion is an attractive, exciting offer to most donors. Real and urgent need — with dire consequences if the need isn’t met — is the best fundraising proposition there is. Admitting you need help doesn’t — as some think — signal your failure or mismanagement; it tells the donor she matters, and that her gift is significant.
  3. One year after their first gift. Some donors have a habit of giving at the same time(s) each year. Most often, this is near the end of the calendar year, but it can be other times. Take advantage of this by having a strong ask at donation anniversary time.

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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.