For the record, I don’t like the idea of using SUGGESTED ASK AMOUNTS. Do you?
I don’t believe in presupposing what amount someone might give and dropping that amount on their lap, often without warning.
Some consultants recommend you do it by first saying: “Would you consider a gift in the amount of…”
That’s a nice way to soften it, but what do you think of this instead?:
A fundraiser and a donor collaborate (work together, imagine that?) on crafting (actually it’s developing… that’s why it’s called development!) a gift that fits because it provides value to the donor that is greater than the amount of their gift.
I know… that’s deep. That’s hard. It requires further engagement and exploration… TOGETHER. It requires others to get involved and support their giving decision. It demands partnership and teamwork.
But this is what’s fair and transparent. Relational, not transactional. Plus, this method has been proven to generate exponentially larger gifts and higher lifetime giving including humongous bequests.
Asking for an amount based on how much the administrator, fundraiser, consultant, some goofy technology, or prospect researcher believes the donor has and can give is insulting and wrong. It’s a shortcut that satisfies administrative needs, not donor desires.
Making an ask without first helping a donor zero in on giving opportunities associated with levels/amounts that are based on impact and align with their motivations (their core values, life story, and those they want to help) is just nutty!
It turns a potentially beautiful and memorable decision-making event for the donor into a high-stakes, high-pressure, transactional event… not collaborative and relational in any way. I call it ‘ambush asking’ and if you do a lot of ‘ambush asking’ repeatedly I call those ‘drive-by solicitations.’ [I know… I make up a lot of funky phrases to describe cooky concepts in fundraising.]
What am I missing or misunderstanding?
What do you think? AGREE OR DISAGREE?
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