Terry Axelrod offers her own Top 10: 10 cues that donors give when they are ready to be asked for a gift.
Not just any gift either. Terry is founder and chief executive of Benevon, the company that helps nonprofits learn how to cultivate donors to the point that they are ready to be asked for a single gift or a multiple-year pledge.
“At Benevon,” she wrote in the current GuideStar e-newsletter, “our focus is on the donor’s readiness to be asked. After all, if you are interested in building a lifelong relationship with a donor, why would you rush the process or risk offending a donor by asking too soon? Using this approach, you would never ask a donor for a contribution unless you were certain that they were ready to give.”
When observing donors, Terry wrote, there are these signs when they are ready for “the ask”:
- They ask a lot of questions.
- They return your phone calls.
- They bring their friends to your introductory events and offer to host their own introductory events.
- They give you advice.
- They come to other events and occasions in the life of the organization.
- They start talking about themselves and your organization as “we.”
- They ask more questions about your fundraising.
- They ask how else they can help.
- They “hang around.”
- They offer to give you money.
When donors give these cues, Terry wrote, it’s time to develop and follow a cultivation plan, leading to an ask for gifts they are prepared to make. For more from Terry, see the Benevon article here or access the Benevon web page at www.benevon.com.