We had the chance to speak with author Laura Fredricks recently about her book, The Ask: The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project or Business Venture. I’m confident you’ll enjoy her insights in response to our questions.
CausePlanet: What trend(s) are you noticing in donor solicitations since you published this updated version of The Ask?
Fredricks: A real dedication to raising money from individuals–speaking with people before, during and after events–and board members eager to know, “How can I get this right?”
Listen here: Getting it right
CausePlanet: There is a surprising lack of literature about the importance of follow-up in donor solicitations. We’re delighted to see you’ve addressed it in your book. What are some important reminders for nonprofit leaders that might motivate them to place a priority on this area?
Fredricks: You are leaving $$$$ on the table because you do not have solid steps to close it. My BIGGEST tip: Donors leave clues and we miss every one of them. Pay attention to how they communicate and the frequency with which they communicate and follow up on their patterns.
Listen here: What are the clues we miss?
CausePlanet: In Dan Pink’s book, To Sell Is Human, he says all great sales people demonstrate buoyancy in the face of rejection. Have you observed any consistent characteristics among successful fundraisers? If so, what are they?
Fredricks: My mantra is “Every donor is a mini campaign” so devote special and individualized attention to every one. The same holds true for fundraisers: I coach them to have their own voice, enjoy the process and learn as much as they can. That equals success!
Listen here: More on buoyancy
Listen here: More about Fredricks’ new book
Most, if not all of us, are in the business of asking for something every day. That’s why we’re determined to identify the best way to go about persuading one another.
This topic has been widely developed within each sector, yet Fredricks has built a bridge across all sectors by explaining the Ask, using universal principles, making it easy, enjoyable, meaningful and rewarding.
Laura Fredricks not only addresses how to ask for support for a nonprofit, but also her advice extends well into the for-profit arena, offering guidance for those who are soliciting investments in business ventures or creative projects. Her book details how to make the most effective Ask in philanthropy, business and everyday life.
Learn more about this title and related book summaries: