We mentioned this in our last blog, there are a lot of charities really struggling right now and the world is in a difficult spot.  As a leader, you may be deeply concerned about the financial stability of your organization as 2020 has turned into the year nobody was ready for.  Typical revenue streams such as Annual Gala’s, fee for service enterprises, fun-runs and golf outings have all been curtailed thanks to the constraints imposed by social distancing.

To make matters more challenging, your supporters may be going through a rough time of it as well.  Some of them may have fallen prey to the economic crisis this country is facing; others may be financially okay but physically or emotionally struggling with the events that are surrounding us.  So, as we make our way to the end of the year a lot of our partners are asking the same sort of questions.  Should we be asking our supporters to donate money?  If so, what does that look like when so many people may be suffering themselves?

In short, the answer is yes, you should still ask for money.  Here’s why.  The Covid-19 crisis is not going to be going away anytime soon.  As an organization, you serve a community, and that community needs your support.  Your donors recognize that, and they want to help.  You just need to ask.

Research into individual giving shows that over 70% of people who give do so for one very simple reason, someone they know or care about asked them to give.  No matter how hard things may seem, people still want to feel connected and they still want to contribute to something bigger than themselves.  They still want to help their friends and support the things they are passionate about.  As a result, the simple act of asking for support is the most powerful tool you have when looking to generate individual donations.

But, as with any statistic, there is more to the story then just asking.  Yes, asking is important, but the way you ask is equally important.  So here are a few tips that we have found helpful when asking people to give to the causes they are most passionate about.

1.   Be Direct. The best way to get the results you are looking for is to ask.  As noted above, the research is clear, over 70% of the people who give, do so because someone they know or care for asked them to give.  So, be direct and let your donors know what you need.

2.  Connect emotionally. Make sure you remind your donors and perspective donors about the great work you do.  About how it is changing people’s lives and about how important it is for you to continue to serve the communities that you do.

3.  Simplify your ‘Call to action’. As part of your ask, remember to be clear and concise when asking your supports to give.  Do not over complicate ‘your ask’.  This is a situation where simple is better.

4.  Drive Immediacy. When it comes to giving, your biggest enemy is not other charities asking for money, it is ‘procrastination’.  After all, if I can do it tomorrow, then I can do it next week.  So, if possible, use incentives to get your donors to give now.

5.  Ask multiple times: When sending out your request it is important to remember that not everybody acts on the ‘first ask’.  Oftentimes, it takes a couple of requests to drive home the request to give. When you are developing your campaign, make sure you build in multiple messages that can be sent out over time.