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How To Politely Ask for Donations When Fundraising

How To Politely Ask for Donations When Fundraising


When it comes to fundraising, the ask is a pivotal moment. It’s the opportunity where your passion for a cause meets the potential generosity of others. But how do you turn a request for donations into a moment that feels genuine, warm, and polite instead of pushy or obligatory?

We all love to help, but we want to feel good about it, too. To that end, the technique of asking for support is as crucial as the cause it serves. Learn how to politely ask for donations when fundraising to yield results and foster stronger bonds between your cause and its supporters.

Personalize Your Approach

First and foremost, personalize as much as possible. When someone feels you’re speaking directly to them rather than to the collective, the connection deepens. Use their name, relate their past interactions with your cause, and when appropriate, show an understanding of their interests, community ties, or shared values.

A personalized request can range from detailing the specific project that aligns with the donor’s past support to simply acknowledging a birthday or anniversary. Remember, treating a potential donor like a person, not a piggy bank, is both the right thing to do and good fundraising etiquette.

Clearly Communicate the Cause

A crystal-clear message can make all the difference in securing donations. People are more likely to give when they understand exactly where their money is going and the impact it will have. It might be tempting to fill the ask with emotionally charged appeals, but it’s more effective to highlight statistics and specific figures.

Talking about how you plan to use the dollars or time can sway a donor more effectively than a generic call to “save the world.” Take time to craft your messaging, share success stories, and don’t shy away from the details.

Provide Donation Options

Don’t lose potential donations because the giving process is too complicated. Offer a range of payment options, include clickable links in your marketing emails, and ensure your website’s donation page is mobile-friendly.

Making it easy means less friction and more funds for your cause. In this digital age, you have access to multiple platforms, apps, and tools that can streamline the giving process. It’s all about making the donor’s experience as smooth as possible.

Highlight Past Successes

From the moment a donor contributes, their support becomes part of a story. This narrative should include them, but it should also continue after their donation.

Be sure to recognize their generosity. A donor wall or social media shoutout allows for public recognition and celebration. The physical or virtual space where you share these recognitions can often become a source of motivation for new donors and solidify their commitment to your cause.

Sharing success stories after the fundraising event is significant because it shows accountability and appreciation. A series of messages or an annual report that illustrates what their generosity helped achieve, quantifying impact, will further cement the value of their support and the need to continue.

Express Gratitude

When approaching someone for a donation, remember that it’s about more than just asking for money; it’s about starting a relationship. And in any good relationship, a thank you goes a long way. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small or large donation. The act of giving is what’s important. A genuine thank you communicates that you see the donor as a partner and not just a transaction.

A timely thank you, possibly in the form of a personalized note, can go a long way in maintaining and deepening your relationship with donors. Make the acknowledgment warm and specific to the individual’s contribution. By doing so, you create a lasting bond with the donor, increasing the likelihood of future giving.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Sometimes, the what, when, and where of your ask matters as much as the why. If the need for funds is immediate or ongoing, communicate that clearly. Set a target with a timeline and make sure potential donors are aware. A clear deadline or time-bound appeal can prompt an immediate response from those who feel compelled to act quickly.

However, always be genuine in your urgency. False deadlines or overstated emergencies can damage trust and the brand of your cause. The key here is balance—urgency without pressure.

Offer Incentives

Though the spirit of giving is often its own reward, everyone appreciates a thank you. This thanks can range from a simple thank you note to more elaborate donor perks. Incentives don’t necessarily need to have monetary value. Simply recognizing a donor’s contribution in a newsletter or on social media can go a long way.

That said, it’s important to be selective when offering donor incentives. Be mindful not to undermine the altruistic nature of their donations; the reward should be a modest gesture of appreciation and not the primary reason for their support.

Update and Engage Donors

Once you receive a donation, it’s not the end of the story but rather a new chapter. Engage your donors regularly with updates on how you’re using their contributions. There’s nothing like being part of the action to feel good about giving.

Aim to share achievements, milestones, and any challenges faced along the way. Transparency and ongoing communication show good stewardship and keep your cause at the forefront of your donors’ minds.

Foster a Relationship

In the vast world of worthy causes, knowing how to politely ask for donations when fundraising can mean the difference between a one-time gift and a donor for life. By mastering these helpful methods, you’re ensuring that your cause receives the funds it needs but also that the donors know the full weight of their contribution.

The goal isn’t just to get donations—it’s also to create a supportive network built on mutual respect, understanding, and shared accomplishments. This collective success begins with a simple, polite, and effective ask.

At Vertical Raise, we make it easy to maximize your fundraising efforts. You can personalize our online donation platform to fit your specific needs and goals. We work with a variety of groups, including ROTC fundraisers, to help you raise more money in less time.

In fact, our streamlined process allows individuals to donate money with the click of a button. By using text messages, emails, and social media posts, we can help you increase the reach of your campaign. Contact us today to learn more!

How To Politely Ask for Donations When Fundraising