If it is worth publishing, it is worth making an ask for a donation

Perhaps it’s an Australian non-profit thing. I receive countless magazines, annual reports, impact reports, and newsletters from charities across the country. Each publication is beautifully crafted. Yet, the publications lack one thing. They lack a request for a further donation. Why publish an annual report, a magazine, a newsletter, or anything without including a request for a donation? I have always said, “if it is worth publishing, it is worth making an ask for a donation”. Whether you are publishing something online or making it available via the Australia Post, you must request a donation from the recipient.

How do you make this ask?

There are two ways to make this ask (and you should do it both ways!). First, if a cover letter to the publication exists, make sure to make a hard ask. Remind the donor how valuable their support has been and then make a follow up ask for an additional gift at this time. Second, make a soft ask by placing a pre-printed giving envelope in the middle of the publication. This envelope will appear much the way a subscription card might be placed in a magazine.

How do you make this ask online?

As is true for publications delivered via Australia Post, include a direct ask in the cover letter. And, include multiple giving links in the electronic publication. Make it easy for the donor to give once you have motivated them to further invest in your charitable organisation.

During one of my last heads of fundraising positions in the US, the hospital where I was employed gained over $100,000 in the first year of employing this simple strategy. $100,000 that was being left on the table previously. Do you think this won’t work for your charitable organisation? How do you know unless you try? Before anyone in your organisation discounts the idea, test it. Need assistance? Contact us.