How to Ask Nicely for Donations

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Fundraising is a fulfilling and worthwhile task, but how you ask for donations determines whether you end up with donated funds or annoyed patrons. Fundraising, in all forms, plays an important role, from collecting change at a four-way stop to soliciting major $50,000 donations. The technique for soliciting donations depends largely on the amount of money you’re seeking. With the exception of professional development officers, asking for donations requires collecting single monetary contributions from multiple individuals. Just like sales or teaching, asking for donations requires a specific set of instructions and techniques.

Step 1

Introduce yourself and your organization. These two basic pieces of information establish the legitimacy of your solicitation. Keep your introduction succinct and speak clearly. For example: “Good morning! I’m Benjamin Hughes with the National Wildlife Rescue Fund.”

Step 2

State the reason or goal for raising money. Articulating how your organization intends to use donated funds creates helps the donor understand his capacity to make a difference. For example, after introducing yourself, “We’re collecting money to build a new seal rehabilitation sanctuary off Morris Island.”

Step 3

Ask if the prospective donor if he is familiar with the work and mission of your organization. This gives you the opportunity to educate the prospective donor about all the wonderful initiatives and achievements of your organization. Skip this step if they are familiar, appear disgruntled or hurried.

Step 4

Ask if he would be interested in supporting the cause, initiative, project you described in step two.

Step 5

Thank him for his time and donation, if applicable, by saying, “Thank you for listening, I appreciate your time.” A more involved conversation warrants further appreciation such as, “I really enjoyed speaking with you.”


  • Smile and speak passionately about your organization. Enthusiasm is contagious and nobody wants to support a lackluster volunteer or organization.