How to fall in love with asking for donations

There is only one thing between you and reaching your fundraising goal. Asking someone to donate! Asking for donations is the single most important ingredient needed for fundraising success.

Please let me share with you a short story that illustrates this point. When I was newly married, I worked for a short period of time for my father-in-law. He had designed and developed a new cup dispenser and would sell his product to the local stores. And later he distributed the product to the bigger water company vendors.

One of my jobs was to drive around with him in his truck and deliver orders to the local paper goods stores. As a people person, I enjoyed that part of the job much more than the tedious job of packing up and labeling the boxes!

So we would drive around from area to area dropping off cases of cup dispensers, writing up invoices and collecting payments for the last purchase orders.

The process was the same, more or less, for each delivery. See what size, color, and amount for the order and carry it to the store, and then write up an invoice and ask for a check.

Towards the end of one workday, we arrive at one of the stores. I am all set to do my routine when my father-in-law stops me and says, this customer gets a 20% discount. By this time, I’d been doing this with him for the entire summer and never ever did I hear of a discount.

So now I’m a little excited, perhaps to hear a story of a childhood friend or relative that I have yet to meet who gets the discount. Or maybe it will be a story of a young widow running a business to support a large family. Maybe even a juicy story involving the mafia.

So I turn to him and ask him, why a discount? He continues to write out the invoice using a Bic pen and one of those small solar panel calculators, and says matter-of-factly, ”Because he asked for a discount.” For the next half hour, I was alone with my thoughts. I’d been driving around all day delivering merchandise. The only difference between the last store and all of the others was that the owner simply asked for a discount.

We have to ask ourselves, why is it difficult for us to ask for help?

Why are some people more comfortable asking for help than others?

As a crowdfunding coach, I spend most of my time trying to peel away the emotional baggage associated with reaching out for donations. So many charity founders are much more comfortable with writing grant requests, since they doesn’t involve having to ask someone else for help.

Studies show that one of the main reasons people don’t ask for donations is because they are afraid of rejection.

Let’s face it. It’s much easier emotionally to handle a “no thank you” letter from a nonprofit foundation than to have a friend or family member reject your request.

The next time someone says no to you when you ask for a donation, try this response:

“I’ve known you for a long time and I know how much of a good person you are and how much you enjoy giving. I really want to share this opportunity with you. Would you mind if I follow up with you again in a few weeks?”

If you believe in your mission enough that you are willing to dedicate so much time and effort to help this cause, wouldn’t you want your friends and family to experience the same satisfaction as you are receiving?

If you bought a new pair of shoes and they were super comfortable, wouldn’t you share the news of this great new product with everyone around you?

View your nonprofit as an opportunity to create a positive impact on both the lives of the needy ones and the donors! And share that opportunity with everyone around you.

Now here some important questions to ask yourself if you are having difficulty asking others for donations:

What would it take for you to donate to your cause if you were asked by someone else?

What would it take from the organization for you to increase your donation amount?
Would you consider committing to a recurring donation?
What is the best setting for them to approach you at work or at home?

When you are satisfied with the answers to these questions, you will be ready to use them in your crowdfunding campaign.

I would love to hear more about your nonprofit and how together we can grow your income and productivity. Feel free to send me an email to