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The Construction of a Donation Ask

Kaitlyn Huntington
Posted by Kaitlyn Huntington on 1:52 PM on November 4, 2014

Habitat BuildersHabitat Builders encourage friends and family to donate on Give to the Max day to help support local families. Reminding yourself of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s mission will help you in your fundraising efforts.

Follow these three guidelines when meeting with your network to ensure success and be one of our top three builders to win a prize!

Start with a solid base
Every house needs a solid foundation. Every donation ask needs a solid foundation too. Charitable giving isn’t about writing checks; it is about building and maintaining relationships. The reason most peer-to-peer fundraising efforts fail is because they are too impersonal. A mass produced email or Facebook post are not going to help you connect with donors because the personal connection is missing.  When you write your donation email or when you sit down with whomever you are going to ask to support your Habitat Builder page begin the conversation like you would any other. No one likes being cold-called or feeling like they are being “sold” to, so make sure you have a chance to catch up and talk with your friends and family first.

Provide the materials
Homes don’t appear overnight- 150 in-kind gift donors donated $1.4M in materials to Habitat last year. Provide your donors with what they need to make a gift. Did you know Habitat built 55 homes, repaired 125 homes and educated 1,200 Twin Cities families last year?  How about that every $1 donated results in almost $2 of economic activity in our community? Donors want to make a difference. It is your job to provide them with the materials and knowledge for them to know their gift will change lives and improve our community. People like to give to causes they know will make a difference. Giving makes donors feel good knowing they improved someone’s life. Show donors their gift will improve the health of children and keep them in school.

For a quick graphic of what Habitat for Humanity does see our recent blog post.

Put in the work
Habitat wouldn’t be able to build homes if it wasn’t for the 17,000 volunteers- it takes hard work to change lives! You won’t have to sweat and labor over making a donation ask, but it does require doing an actual ask. Donors won’t give unless they are directly asked. Asks are just questions- expect a yes instead of a no! Asks are specific amounts- tell them $25 means $50 with matching gifts on GTMD! Being honest and direct goes a long way.

1. Set the tone of the conversation. Keep it casual and get the small talk out of the way.
2. Make the transition by asking to talk about something you are passionate about (Habitat)!
3. Remind them why they would like to help by bringing up a connection they have to a housing issue or if they are passionate about helping kids.
4. Explain how Habitat really does improve the lives of families and children. Pull on their heart strings!
5. Show why the need for donations is important. Either because Habitat needs to help more families or because you want to win the Apple Watch!
6. The final steps is to make the ask. Turn it into a question and ask for a specific amount to help the cause.

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