The "Ask"

Ask for Advice, Get Money Twice


Although the artist Pitbull is not my usual “go to” for fundraising advice, his latest pop song “Feel This Moment” featuring Christina Aguilera has solid fundraising advice:


Ask for money, and get advice

Ask for advice, get money twice.


There is something very valid in Pitbull’s lyrics. When approaching potential donors, it is often better to ask for advice than to ask for money.


It follows my favorite fundraising magic statement:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 12.40.52 PM


When we ask individuals for “advice” instead of “money”, we are telling them that they (and their ideas, opinions and feedback) are important to the organization. We are also sharing our upcoming project or need within the organization that will require additional funding. This invites the individual to become our organization’s collaborator. In order for a donor to give, they must understand that there is a need. When you make them part of the conversation around the need, there is a higher likely hood that they will want to help fill this need.


Feasibility studies are another way to strategically ask for advice from current and potential donors. While the study is meant to determine if the project is “feasible”, I see the real value as an opportunity to sit down one-on-one with individuals and ask for their advice. While I am asking for their advice, the organization is gaining buy-in for their project.


As fundraisers, we have heard that involvement leads to investment. Asking for advice is a way to “involve” an individual with your organization. Often we are looking for reasons to meet with our long-time supporters or engage new supporters. Sharing with them about what the organization is currently doing – and then asking for their input is a valuable way to engage the donor.


Utilize the advice you receive wisely:

  1. Shape and better the proposed project.
  2. Gain an understanding on whether the individual is interested in financially supporting the project or not.
  3. Create an appropriate donation solicitation for the advisee.

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