Last week we shared some our favorite fundraising asks, and today we are back with a few more classics that work.
To recap the first six:
- The Match
- The Menu
- Fighting Evil
- The Single Story
- The Emergency
And, of course, we will again be using the fake organization The Center for Wayward Squirrels to provide some sample language.
6 MORE Fundraising Asks
1. Let’s Get Ready
This is a great approach for current donors who understand the work you do, and who need to renew their support. It also works well when a new schedule is about to start, e.g. getting ready for the new calendar year, or new school year, or new season. (Caution: Don’t talk about your fiscal year. Nobody cares. Frame it as a programmatic year in some way.)
You’ve seen the lifesaving work we do. And our work is not done. Thousands of baby squirrels are being born right now, and an estimated 20% of them are at risk for falling into the wayward lifestyle. Your gift today ensures that we will be there, next week, next month, and next year, ready to respond.
2. The Sustainer
Convert your one-time donors into monthly givers.
Your monthly gift of just $10 means you’ll be there, day in and day out, for the wayward squirrels. It’s a small monthly contribution that makes a huge difference, because we know we can count on your generosity as we reach out to more squirrels. You are there for the Center each month, and we together, are there for the squirrels.
3. Help Us Buy It
Donors like to know exactly where their money is going. If you have a big ticket item, fundraise around that particular item. Of course, you are restricting those funds to that item, so keep that in mind – you can’t use it for anything else. This approach is behind much of the social media fundraising/crowdfunding campaigns that have worked so well.
We want to start a second Wayward Squirrel Rescue Team, but the equipment to outfit the team is $5,000. The team can’t start working until all of the equipment is in place. This is the only thing holding us back from helping another 300 squirrels a year. Help us outfit the team today!
4. The Wish List
This is similar to “Help Us Buy It,” but in a list form, usually with lower dollar items. This is also great for those recurring expenses. You can use your own wish list or go with the Wish List feature at Amazon.
Our new halfway house for wayward squirrels is just about ready to open, but it needs to be furnished and outfitted. We have more than 30 items on our Wish List, ranging from kitchen and bathroom supplies to linens and window coverings. Can you help us complete the house by purchasing an item from the Wish List?
5. The Deadline
People want to help, but often need an extra nudge to actually follow through and do it. A deadline can be that nudge, creating a new sense of urgency. You can work deadlines into many of these other asks (and probably should). Be careful about creating faux deadlines, however. They should feel reasonable and legitimate.
If we can raise $10,000 by November 30, we can match up 300 squirrels with 300 dogs in the prestigious Squirrel – Canine Exchange Institute, which promotes cross-species understanding and respect. This world-renowned program only accepts applications once a year, and now is the time to apply. But we can’t do it without you! Please give by November 30th to ensure that our community can participate in this extraordinary program.
6. Join the Club
We often see this tactic used with monthly giving, major donors, or legacy/planned gifts: these kinds of donors are considered part of a special or exclusive club, and may receive special communications or “members only” benefits. But it can be used with your regular fundraising too by capitalizing on the concept of “social proof” – other people are doing it, and we invite you to join them. Or you can ask donors to step up to support a certain project.
I am writing to you today with a special invitation to join our Squirrel Scholars Society. The Society is a special group of donors who know that to truly make change for squirrels, we need to give them additional options. Squirrel Scholars Society members understand this, and commit to giving a minimum of $500 per year. When you become a member, you are also automatically listed as a sponsor of the annual We Are All Squirrelly Gala.
Our Full Series on Asks: