The most essential step in securing a gift is asking for one. Once a potential donor is identified, the key becomes finding the right person or team to make the ask.
In her book, “The Ask,” Laura Fredricks provides guidance for such a selection by identifying five considerations to make when selecting an individual or team to make an ask.
The size factor. The size of an organization’s fundraising team could be a determining factor in the size of the pool of potential askers. Some smaller organizations might depend on the CEO or president and a fundraiser or two. Consider administrators and staff outside of fundraising. Doctors and nurses at a hospital, for instance, could be effective members of an ask team.
Recognize that there is a difference between being identified as a potential asker and being prepared and/or willing to ask. Potential askers might be inexperienced and in need training, including role-playing. Members of an asking pool should all be comfortable asking.
Understand the maturity of your fundraising department and organizational fundraising history. For example, board members who participated in your organization’s previous capital campaign could be burnt out while new board members might be eager to ask for gifts.
All potential askers should know the size of the donor base. This will help set a realistic expectation for the number of asks a group should conduct during a given time.
Realistically measure the number of hours per month askers will have to devote to seeking gifts. Keep in mind that not every ask is local and every ask requires preparation time.