Ask, Thank, Report


If you want to be a successful fundraiser (or fundraising organization) you need to do these three things well.  You’d be surprised how much else you can throw out the window if you get this right.

Ask: ask your donors to send in a gift.  Don’t dance around it, ask them to make a gift right now.  Ask them multiple times and be very specific about what you want them to do.  And here’s a tip the fundraising Pro’s use; don’t ask donors to send money, ask them to solve a problem.  For instance, ask donors to ‘feed one hungry person’ or ‘rescue one pet.’  Donors like to solve specific problems, so present a problem and ask the donor to solve it.

===> But you have to ask.

Thank: Thank your donors each time they make a gift and thank them quickly (we recommend in 48 hours or less).  Most organizations thank their donors in a mundane, legalistic way.  Instead, your goal should be to make your donors feel incredibly appreciated and that the gift they just gave is going to change the world.

Report: Donor’s want to know what happened with their gift.  You need to make sure there is a prominent part of your fundraising communications that’s dedicated to showing donors what their gifts did.  (The best way we’ve seen to do this is via human stories told in a newsletter format, but that’s not your only option.)  After all, if your donors don’t feel like their gift made a difference, why would they give another gift?

Ask, Thank, Report.  Your fundraising communications should be built on these three things.  You’ll raise more money — and have happier donors — if you get this right.


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

One comment on “Ask, Thank, Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *