today in black history

July 17, 2024

The Port Chicago incident occurred in 1944 when Black Navy ammunition handlers were killed in a violent explosion at the California base.

FUNdraising Good Times

POSTED: October 23, 2017, 11:45 am

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What? Me ask someone for money? That’s just not me.

From October to December nonprofits dedicate time and energy to fundraising. They reach out to supporters and ask them to give. They share their impact – what they have done this year and what they will do next year. They share stories from those whose lives have been changed as a result of donations given by donors like you. Many use direct mail, social media, and/or online giving campaigns. Many encourage their board members, donors, and volunteers to personally talk with potential donors and ask them to make a gift.

Personally asking another person to make a gift to a nonprofit you believe in can be the scariest aspect of fundraising. But, good things can happen when you break through your fears. “I was waiting for them to ask me. I send something each year, but no one has ever talked to me.” Here’s a snippet of a conversation we heard just this week “He called me and said he met me earlier in the year and wanted to know how he could get involved and give.”

You get these results when you talk about the work of your organization and the fact that you rely on donations to continue your work.

Here are three suggestions to help you start a conversation about giving.

1. Be prepared. Know who you are talking to. What about your organization is a match with their passion and priorities? How much do they already know about your organization? Be ready to briefly share why you are involved. Share what the nonprofit is raising money for, your commitment, and the amount that you have given.

2. MAKE THE ASK. Be sure to ask for the gift. “I would like for you to make a gift. Would you be willing to contribute $___?" Ask for a specific, reasonable and challenging amount: not too small and not too large. Pause after you ask. Don’t rush to fill the silence. Give the person time to respond and they will.

3. When someone says YES, thank them and ask how they want to make their gift, for example, online from the website, with a text or a check. If they say NO, ask if there is a different amount they would be willing to give. Regardless of the outcome, always say Thank You!

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Copyright 2017 – Mel and Pearl Shaw

Mel and Pearl Shaw are authors of four books on fundraising available on For help growing your fundraising visit or call (901) 522-8727.

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