"How Often Should We Ask Donors For Money?"

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We get asked this question, in one form or another, all the time; how often should we ask our donors for money?

There’s no one answer for every nonprofit, but here’s how we think about it . . .

To start with we suggest asking between six and 12 times per year.  And by “asking” we mean really asking; making specific requests for donors to send in a gift today for a specific purpose.  Not some higgledy-piggledy sentence that might have the word “gift” in it, really asking in a direct and powerful way.

Note: if your organization is already doing a great job telling donors about the impacts of their gifts, then you should be at or above the top of that range.  That’s because if your donors know how powerful their gifts are then they are more likely to give additional gifts.

Most small- to medium-sized nonprofits are leaving money on the table (and not fulfilling their mission as well as they could!) because they aren’t asking enough.  For instance, we’ve worked with hundreds of nonprofits and have worked with exactly one who was asking too often.  Only one.  And we know they were asking too often because we were constantly analyzing their donor data.  The data — not personal preference by someone on staff — told us we were asking too often.  So we asked less the next year.

The lessons; you can almost certainly ask more than you’re asking now, and let your donor data tell you when you’ve reached the limit.

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