I will say, for most leaders, asking for money is one of the most challenging things that they do.
I will not say that, for most leaders, this becomes easier over time because I don’t think it ever does.
If you are focused on asking well… If you are focused on honoring God with your words … If you are focused on honoring the resources and the work that someone does to actually create wealth and the resources to give.
It should be challenging, and it’s okay for it to be challenging.
If you are worried about being awkward, about how you come across, or if you are coming across looking like you are just after someone’s money, or making the relationship all about money, here is my encouragement to you: The sheer fact you want to not come across as pushy or obnoxious means YOU ARE NOT.
Sensitivity to how you come across is a good thing; it’s a guard on your heart. It is actually something that will help you be who you want to be, which is more of yourself, authentic, and clear that this is about leadership, and, about the fact that you have a plan, you are moving forward with that plan, and giving is what fuels that plan to go forward.
You have three questions to answer for givers whenever you ask for money:
- How do they fit in?
- What will their give get?
- How will their giving make an impact no one else’s can?
Development is the language of leadership. Asking is that call to action that you are giving them.
So, here you go. Here are 4 methods you can use to ask for money.
Direct Request/Direct Ask: Tried and true, this is the most effective way to ask for money. Getting straight to the point with your potential donors may be uncomfortable, but studies show this is the number one way to get results.
“Jim, will you pray and consider giving $10,000 to this plan?”
Giving Range: This approach does just what it says – it provides donors a ballpark figure with which to get more specific. Critics of this approach warn people will lowball … so I simply increase my lower number.
“Hey, Jane. Would you pray and consider making a gift somewhere between $10,000 – $50,000 to this project?”
Straightforward Approach: For those in ministry faith-based organizations, this is generally the most natural approach to take. Why? You place yourself in a teaching role, which you’re already accustomed to and share your vision prior to expressing the need. You inform the donor of your plans and needs; she decides whether or not it’s a level at which she can give. This delivery requires more verbiage, but again – this may be the most natural delivery and therefore the most effective.
“Amber, here is what I am working on. In the next six weeks I am meeting with a handful of people and I am asking each of them to help us toward $100,000 part of this project. I have no way of knowing if you could give at a $10,000 level, but, I do know that it is going to take a dozen, or more folks giving at that level to actually achieve this goal and fund this plan. So, how would you react to that idea? How would you react to that request?”
Gift Chart: You’ve probably seen one of these. A chart is provided with giving levels or ranges and donors decide where they fit. Some may find that having something tangible to hold, point to, etc. assists with the ask.
“What I would like to do, George, is ask you to look at this chart and find where you might be comfortable. This is where you look at it, and say what you can do this year, or over the next few years”.
Every leader has one method that they are the most biased for, for whatever reason, they think is the most comfortable, or could be the most effective.
What I want you to do is, to think about which you are biased against, or biased for. Then, I would like you to find someone to role-play each of those methods. Have some fun with it in role-play. I look forward to hearing what you learn!
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