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How to Ask for Money - Whetting Their Appetite
  1. Repeat the name of your organization often.

  2. Say your name, the name of your group and your position: "Hello, my name is Rich Male, Executive Director of the Community Resource Center."

  3. Describe your group's activities and its effectiveness (maximum of five sentences): "The Community Resource Center provides training and technical consulting services to nonprofit groups in the areas of leadership development, empowerment, board development, and financial self-sufficiency. CRC works with neighborhood groups, rural organizations, churches, minority constituencies, seniors, and organizations for the disabled.

  4. Describe your budget: "It costs $500,000 to operate the Community Resource Center for one year."

  5. Describe your Fund Raising Strategy: "The Community Resource Center receives 70% of its funding budget from workshop and training fees, consultant contracts from our constituencies, and earned income projects. We receive 30% of our funds from state and federal sources."

Asking for Money - the Pitch

  • Always ask for a specific amount of money.
  • If the donation is tax-deductible, say so.
  • Always ask for money for a specific part of your program.
  • Ask for the dollar amount again.
  • Try to break down your request into little terms: "Your $100 contribution will enable us to mail our 300 newsletters."
  • Smile - stop talking. Wait for a response.
  • Answer questions briefly.
  • Explain why you need the money NOW.
  • Repeat steps 1-5 until they say Yes.

Role Play

Pick a friend or colleague to play a potential funder. Role-play steps 1-7 and actually ask for money for a real project in your group. Switch off. You may even exchange money during this role-play. Allow five minutes for each person.

This table originally appeared in the Grantseeker.Com's Learning Center Home Page.

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  • Ownership Statement
    Jon Harrison : Page Editor
    Funding Center Supervisor
    Social Sciences Collections Coordinator
    Michigan State University Libraries
    100 Library
    E. Lansing, MI 48824-1048
    http://stff.lib.msu.edu/harris23/ (URL)
    harris23@mail.lib.msu.edu (e-mail)
    Voice mail: (517) 884-0855
    Last revised 10/26/00