Is the Donor Ready for an Ask? What You Need To Know

Have you ever sat in front of a donor, wondering if now is the right time to make an ask? 

You really are in a dilemma! If you ask before the donor is ready, then your donor may feel like you are pushing them. You can shoot yourself in the foot by asking too quickly. 

So, timing is everything! 

How do you know whether your donor is ready – or not? Here’s our guide: 

We believe in simply asking the donor. It’s all about permission! 

There are all sorts of questions you can ask, such as: Are you ready? Would you like to have this conversation or not? Would you like to discuss your interest in giving? 

Above all, the very best way to move a donor conversation toward a Gift Conversation is to first ask permission. It’s the hinge that opens the door to the BIG ASK that you would love to put on the table.

Moving the Conversation Forward

Picture this: You’ve been having a delightful conversation with a donor to get to know them better. You’ve shared your organization’s vision and its goals.

Now is the time! But how do you gently bring up the topic of a gift without rushing them? Are they ready? 

Here are a few questions that elegantly move the conversation forward:

  1. Would you like to know how you can help with this project?
  2. Is now a good time to talk about your gift for this year?
  3. Could you see yourself getting more involved in our work?
  4. Have you ever thought about doing more?

You see where we’re going with this. The permission question lets the donor have a say in whether they are is ready to discuss their gift. 

Either they swing open the door – hooray! – or they let you know this isn’t the right time. Both are helpful to know.

Check out today’s video, which gives more helpful information about this topic.

Bottom Line on Timing of the Ask: Ask your donor’s permission – they will tell you whether they are ready or not. 

By asking permission, you will know you have a donor willing – even eager – to discuss how they can help. When the timing is right, the ask takes care of itself!

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