8 Mistakes When Asking People For Donations

By Industry Leave a comment

Anyone who runs a charitable organization will tell you the hardest part of the job is raising money. Through my years of experiencing working alongside charitable organizations and churches, I have seen some of the worst attempts at fundraising. Sadly, these tactics are more common than we like to admit and will surely hurt your efforts.

Steer clear of these 8 mistakes when asking people for donations the next time you are raising money for your organization.

1. Sneak Attack

The sneak attack is when you request a meeting with someone but surprise them at the meeting that you are raising money. If you want to talk to someone about giving to your organization, be up front for your purposes for the meeting. Don’t tell someone you want to catch up and then surprise them with an ask.

2. The Opportunist

You hear someone has a lot of money and suddenly you take interest in their life. Your only pursuit of them is their money. People are smart and can usually sense when you are making connecting with them only for the purpose of being an opportunist for their generosity.

3. The Mass Email

When instead of cultivating relationships and conducting personal asks, you send one mass email to your entire contact list. Not only is there no personalization, it looks lazy. If you are seeking people to give, take the time to make it personal.

4. Trolling For Sympathy

When you are too afraid to specifically to ask people to give, you talk about your financial shortfall, growing problems and challenges you face without giving them an invitation to join in. Don’t make people ask if you are seeking their financial support. Instead, talk about the opportunity that lays ahead and how you would like them to partner with you financially.

5. The Shot In The Dark

When you blast on your social media pages links to donate without any story, context, narrative or creativity. Just because you post a link out to social media doesn’t mean strangers will feel compelled to give. Use social media to help tell your story and make the ask a natural extension of your story.

6. The Sugar Daddy

When you don’t have a plan to get dozens if not hundreds of small donors and go after one or two big donors. No donor wants to have the burden on their shoulder that their generosity may make or break your organization. Seek all types of donors, but above all, make sure if anyone particular donor falls through that you’ll be okay.

7. The Obstacle Course

When someone is ready to give, but you are not ready to take their donation on the spot. Worse, you make them send in a check or fax in a credit card authorization form. If a donor is desiring to give, do all and any necessary legwork ahead of time so you can accept the donation on the spot.

8. The Mystery Expenses

Whenever you are asking people for money, the natural question from a prospective giver is going to be how the money is going to be spent. If you don’t know how you are specifically going to use people’s hard earned money, you shouldn’t be asking them to give.

Asking people for money for your cause may never be easy. But avoiding these mistakes will help you develop better strategies for raising money for your cause.

Have you ever made these mistakes or feel we missed any? Tell us more in the comments below.