The Mikuska Group  

How not asking can help your fundraising program

How often has this happened to you?

  • You donate to an organization for the first time and the thank you letter asks you for another donation.
  • The only time you hear from an organization is when they send you an appeal for funds or they call asking for a donation.
  • You receive regular requests for giving from an organization you gave to once, 20 years ago.

These practices are less likely to induce you to give again, and yet they are all too common. They are indicative of organizations that don’t try to engage people. They haven’t put themselves in their donors’ shoes and asked themselves what would encourage more giving.

The most powerful experiences for donors don’t include an ask. The simple thank-you call from a board member, client or program staff is often unexpected but definitely welcomed. A personal invitation for a tour or get-acquainted coffee meeting is greatly appreciated, as is a phone call for feedback or advice on an issue. After all, donors have already demonstrated their interest in your organization by giving a gift. It’s up to you to reach out to them and engage them in what you do and who you serve. And you will find that much more effective than a dozen direct-mail appeals.

Julie Mikuska


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