Always Be Clear

When you’re first starting out and haven’t fully developed your ask, fundraising can be challenging. You might be stuck or even insecure about how to take people to the next level with fundraising. It can be nerve wrecking and discouraging, however, we've worked with hundreds of people who have turned these same humble beginnings into success stories. The key is in being clear.

In our experience, knowing what you need, how you need it, and directly asking for it in any culture is the most effective approach. The more important part about all of that is to be clear. In an indirect culture you can be clear about what you are looking for, but you may not ask for a person to make a decision right then and there. For example, a very direct ask would be "Would you be willing to partner?" while an indirect approach would be a statement "We are looking for people to partner financially and would love for you to consider this." With the first statement, you're clearly helping them see how they can be a part of the work. In the second one, you’re still being clear about your intentions, but not asking them to answer in the moment.

We've found that in this indirect context, people have found success in asking others to pray about it now and then being more direct later in a less public follow up via email or text. Essentially in any case, think through the best option for the people you are approaching. Don’t base anything on what you're comfortable with, but rather focus on what is going to be the most effective with each potential partner. You’ll always be limiting yourself if you’re led by fear, so it’s better to exit your comfort zone and try something specific and direct.

The Power of Storytelling

The Essential Fundraising Tool