Let the donor know that you have listened and absorbed their response, whilst keeping it conversational
Perhaps the hardest part comes with keeping silent. You’ve made the ask. Now it’s the donor’s turn to respond.
This is sometimes called ‘the invitation’. It’s useful to commit this part, once you gave settled on the appropriate words, to memory. The ask script is as important as your vision and mission statements.
When you are making the ask, expect to cover each part of a structured discussion in 20-25 minutes.
The ask should be made after a process of engagement. Significant gifts can take between 24-36 months of careful cultivation. On occasion, especially if there is an element of self solicitation, then you can ask more quickly. But as a general rule, there should be at least three opportunities to engage with the work, leadership and impact of the organisation.
It is important that the ask is made by someone who is a respected peer. For example, if the prospect is a CEO, then it would help if they were asked by another CEO or the Chairman. This is where it is particular important to cultivate a wide network of influential friends and to build a development board of people who can gain access to their peer group.
We were delighted to support this Philanthropy Impact event last night kindly hosted by Sir Vernon Ellis, Chair of the British Council in his wonderful home.
The panel comprised John Nickson, Campaigner for Philanthropy and author; Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund; Lucy Blythe, Director Philia International and Rory Brooks Founding Partner, MML Capital Partners.
The fundraiser, Dr Henry Drucker, cited three reasons why people do not give:
They are never asked
They are not asked well
They are not thanked
I was delighted to be on the benches for a debate, which drew a full house, at the Oxford Union on the 10th of November. The motion: “this house believes that there is nothing wrong with spending more on looking good than doing good”.
Making the ask (also called making the offer or invitation) strikes fear into the hearts of many. But it can be one of the most fulfilling parts of the process. It is rewarding and pleasurable and can lead to a closer relationship with supporters.
Funding networks are on the rise with organisations like The Funding Network (TFN) and BeyondMe encouraging people to join together and support charitable causes. The networks can take many forms – from the funding pitches organised by TFN to the 6-person work-based teams organised by BeyondMe.
The Philanthropy Company has based the ‘ten success factors’ on our collective experience working as fundraisers and with clients. These are at the heart of our Foundations in Philanthropy package (which starts on December 2nd, 2015, at Somerset House)
Following the recent Etherington review, there are new legal and reporting requirements for all trustees.
The media has given great airtime to the recent scrutiny of charitable giving. Alongside negative headlines in the tabloid press, useful guidance has emerged around the responsibilities of trustees for fundraising.
There has been a phenomenal increase in levels of wealth of wealth over the last three decades.
Today there are 12 million people worldwide who are classified as ‘high net worth individuals’. Their collective wealth is estimated at $55.8 trillion.
We are delighted to be working on the Foundation for FutureLondon for Olympicopolis which launches tonight. The main fundraising drive, which aims to raise £180 million from philanthropists to help fund the project, will be launched tonight at an event at the venue in Stratford attended by Mayor Boris Johnson. […]
How may we increase the philanthropy and social investment that is essential if we are to sustain civil society for future generations? A roundtable discussion that asks this question is happening on the 17th of November.
The University of Cambridge recently launched their £2bn fundraising campaign, “Dear World … Yours, Cambridge”. It was a remarkable feat of communication. Blue-tinted events sprung up around the city. Fire-writing shone across the river: “Dear World … Yours, Cambridge”, it read. And the city rippled in posters and banners. The Campaign was launched, and the city knew about it.