When it comes to fundraising, making the ask is one thing—sealing the deal is another. Sometimes closing your request is the most difficult and confusing part.
Should you end with a question? Or maybe a statement?
How many no’s is enough? How many objections should you address?
Is silence okay? Should you talk? Should you listen?
If they say “no,” what do they really mean? No forever? No, not now? No, not that amount?
Explaining your nonprofit’s need and asking for a specific donation amount is the easy part. It’s the “wrapping up” part that can trip people up. While there’s no magic formula or exact science to closing an ask, there are ways to help turn the tide in your favor. Consider these four factors:
People act on emotion. When it comes to making arbitrary financial decisions, people often do what makes them feel good. And making a donation is an arbitrary financial decision. Your donors don’t support you because they have to; it doesn’t put food on their table or pay their electric bill. They give because they want to—it makes them feel good, whether that means feeling kinder, more connected or more important.
You might feel like using logic and reason (because logically your nonprofit organization needs money in order to operate), but from your donor’s point of view, financial giving is typically an emotional act. Don’t focus on your need as much as you focus on the people she’ll help, the impact she’ll make and the lives she’ll change with her gift.
Make the donation request about them, not you. You have bills to pay. A new initiative to fund. And your donations are down. But your donor doesn’t care nor should she. Declining revenue and increasing costs are not her problem. Instead of talking about how much you need her gift, shift your thinking to, “What’s in this for her?” A chance to connect with others? An opportunity to support a cause she’s passionate about? A safe place to leave a legacy gift? A tax benefit? If you focus on your donor’s interests, you’ll sound less desperate and more relevant.
Educate, don’t sell. An organization that teaches a donor about something he cares about will be more successful than one that just pitches a cause. If you’re a nonprofit that supports women and children affected by abuse, don’t just stop at, “Here’s what we’re doing; will you please write us a check?” Educate. Talk about the families you’ve helped. Show pictures of your shelter. Or even invite them to volunteer or get involved in way that’s more up close and personal. They may say “no” to donating, but “yes” to getting involved in another way—and that may increase the chance of a future donation.
Listen more than talk. This might be the toughest fundraising tip yet, but it’s important: Be okay with silence. Don’t fill up every minute of your ask with facts, figures, statistics and a compelling need. Once you’ve told your story and made a donation request, stop. Let your donor talk. Give him time to respond. He may need to think or he may have a few questions—your ask is not a one-way conversation. It might feel like that at first, but when it comes to closing time, it may take more dialogue between everyone before a decision is reached.
In every area of fundraising, it’s important to remain donor-centric. Whether you’re asking for a gift in person, online, via email or via text, the goal should be to make donating easy for your supporters. At Firespring, we create websites and online tools that are focused on just that: Enabling constituents to easily give. Start your free trial at firespring.org/trial or call 877.447.8941.
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1. DATA WE COLLECT, COOKIES & TRACKING TECHNOLOGY
We may ask for your contact information, including items such as name, company name, address, email address, and telephone number. When you add your financial account information to your Account, that information is directed to our third-party payment processor. We do not store your financial account information on our systems; however, we have access to, and may retain, subscriber information through our third-party payment processor. If you contact us directly, we may receive additional information about you and/or attachments you may send us, and any other information you may choose to provide. We may also receive a confirmation when you open an email from us.
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We use the information we collect in various ways. Including the following; provide, operate, and maintain our Services; improve, and expand our Services; understand and analyze how you use our Services; develop new products, services, features, and functionality; communicate with you, either directly or through one of our partners, including for customer service, to provide you with updates and other information relating to the Service, and for marketing and promotional purposes; process your transactions; find and prevent fraud; and for compliance purposes, including enforcing our Master Agreement, or other legal rights, or as may be required by applicable laws and regulations or requested by any judicial process or governmental agency.
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Third-Party Partners. We also share information about users with third-party partners in order to receive additional publicly available information about you.
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Business Transfers. Information may be disclosed and otherwise transferred to any potential acquirer, successor, or assignee as part of any proposed merger, acquisition, debt financing, sale of assets, or similar transaction, or in the event of insolvency, bankruptcy, or receivership in which information is transferred to one or more third parties as one of our business assets.
With Your Consent. We may share information with your consent.
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Our legal basis for collecting and using the personal information described above will depend on the personal information concerned and the specific context in which we collect it. However, we will normally collect personal information from you only (i) where we need the personal information to perform a contract with you; (ii) where the processing is in our legitimate interests and not overridden by your rights; or (iii) where we have your consent to do so. We have a legitimate interest in operating our Services and communicating with you as necessary to provide these Services, for example when responding to your queries, improving our platform, undertaking marketing, or for the purposes of detecting or preventing illegal activities.
In some cases, we may also have a legal obligation to collect personal information from you or may otherwise need the personal information to protect your vital interests or those of another person. If we ask you to provide personal information to comply with a legal requirement or to perform a contract with you, we will make this clear at the relevant time and advise you whether the provision of your personal information is mandatory or not (as well as of the possible consequences if you do not provide your personal information).
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Firespring is committed to protecting your information. We use a variety of security technologies and measures designed to protect information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. The measures we use are designed to provide a level of security appropriate to the risk of processing your personal information. However, please bear in mind that the Internet cannot be guaranteed to be 100% secure. We retain personal information we collect from you where we have an ongoing legitimate business need to do so (for example, to provide you with a service you have requested or to comply with applicable legal, tax, or accounting requirements). When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
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If you wish to access, correct, update, or request deletion of your personal information.
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You have the right to complain to a data protection authority about our collection and use of your personal information.
We are grateful for your donation and support of our organization. If you have made an error in making your donation or change your mind about contributing to our organization please contact us. Refunds are returned using the original method of payment. If you made your donation by credit card, your refund will be credited to that same credit card.
Automated Recurring Donation Cancellation
Ongoing support is important to enabling projects to continue their work, so we encourage donors to continue to contribute to projects over time. But if you must cancel your recurring donation, please notify us.