Monday, September 16, 2013

Fundraising 101: Turn a "No" Into a "Yes"

Fundraising in the dictionary According to GrantSpace, there are more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the United States. If you're keeping count, that is more than one million charitable organizations vying for the same donations. It's not unusual for fundraising professionals and volunteers to get a "no" from potential donors far more often than they get a "yes." Here's how to turn someone who doesn't want to donate into someone who does.


1.I Don't Have the Money


There's no doubt that times are tight right now. People across the country are not only living paycheck-to-paycheck, but are worrying about how to keep the lights on. When someone tells you that they don't have the money, empathize with them. Tell these people that you understand, but that even a dollar would help. Consider that if you got $1 from 100 people, you've raised $100 for your charity. If you try to force 100 people to give you a specific amount of money and all decline, you've raised nothing. 



2.I Already Donate to...


Many people will tell you that they already donate to a charitable organization, using the excuse to not donate to yours. Thank them for their generosity to the other charity, and kindly explain that your organization is not affiliated with that group. Explain how even $5 can help your group continue its mission. 



3.I Have to Talk to My Partner


Don't push someone who tells you that they have to speak with their partner before they can commit to donating to your charity. It's not unusual for people in a relationship to consult each other when it comes to joint finances. Instead, ask this person if you can call them a few days from now or stop back by. Do not rely on the fact that you will be contacted, take control of the situation. Remind the person that you are not asking for much, and reiterate that any little bit will help your charity or project.


Fundraising Event at Reading – 2011

4.I Don't Donate to Charity


Many people don't donate to charities simply because they don't understand the group's mission, history or current projects. Have a flash drive loaded with your information ready to hand this person. Empathize with your prospect, and let him know that you understand that there are millions of charities seeking his donation. Assure him that he will not be contacted again should he choose to donate one time only, and ask him to view your flash drive and pass it onto a friend or family member who may be interested. 


5.Send a Thank You


Send a thank you note or email to every person that you come into contact with, provided that you have at least gathered contact information. Even if the person doesn't donate, thank them for taking the time to speak to you. This simple act of courtesy may encourage someone to donate even after they have told you no.

You never want to pressure anyone to donate to your organization, but you do want to have responses at the ready if you receive an initial no. If someone takes the time to explain to you why they will not, or cannot, donate, take the time to respond. You'll never turn a "no" into a "yes" if you don't try.

Writer Ken Osteen is an avid blogger for dvdcopycat.com where you'll find more ways to use technology to help with fundraising.


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