top of page

Ask with Confidence

It's giving season, and you know what that entails: a flood of invitations. Some event invites grant free admission with the expectation of a donation, while others have fixed ticket prices. During this bustling event season, I feel privileged to participate in numerous events, all aimed at raising much-needed funds to support our community organizations' vital missions. However, I'd like to share an incident I witnessed to ensure it doesn't happen at your event.

At one of the fundraising events I attended last year, I witnessed an unfortunate misstep during the crucial donation request. Let me set the scene for you. Like most fundraising gatherings, the room was brimming with enthusiastic supporters. Among them were loyal donors deeply committed to the cause, as well as newcomers, introduced to the organization by a dedicated friend.

The program had been running flawlessly. Inspirational speakers held the audience captive, and a compelling video narrated the organization's services, the clients it served, and the heartfelt impact of the donated dollars on those receiving these vital services. But then, towards the very end of the event, a representative from the organization took the stage, grasped the podium, and made the crucial ask—an ask that took a sudden nosedive. My heart sank.

The person making the request stumbled over their words, clearly unprepared and lacking the confidence to command the stage. Despite having a script, they chose to deviate from it, inadvertently diminishing the pivotal moment. They inserted their own financial struggles and imposed limitations on the audience, stating, "I understand that this is a significant ask, and it's a substantial amount of money. If you can't donate at this level, we understand, and we hope you can contribute at a different level."

That's when my eyes widened, my jaw dropped, and the room began to murmur. The ask failed spectacularly in that moment. The audience was disengaged, the fundraising goal remained unmet, and the intrusion of personal financial anecdotes devalued the potential of others. Not everyone feels comfortable soliciting donations, and not everyone possesses the confidence and poise required to invite transformative gifts for your nonprofit's critical mission. I do.

I urge you not to repeat this same mistake. I'm here to be your "ask ambassador," standing confidently on your behalf, championing your mission, and taking charge of the ask to ensure it enhances your cause rather than hinders it.


bottom of page