It Never Hurts to Ask…..?!

March 3, 2010 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

You know that saying…”It never hurts to ask.” Well during a meeting with a corporate partner they mentioned sometimes it does hurt to ask…like when it is done badly. This corporate partner can be a vendor to nonprofit organizations. So the assumption is they will give – no matter how they are asked.

We were talking about requests for financial support. They have received letters with typos, no cultivation, assumptions that money will be given, “catching” them during an inappropriate moment to ask for their support. Some letters were brisk and rude expecting a quid pro quo. In other cases they never received a thank you letter once they made the gift. When the next ask came along, they remembered. This partner said they think it does hurt to ask when it is not done well.

On the other hand, they have great nonprofit partners who treat them like people and not a company. Nonprofit representatives schedule regular meetings to update the partner on progress and challenges. The corporate partner is invited to events as a guest. The nonprofit includes them on their electronic newsletter and annual report mailing. These are great cultivation moves and the corporate partner remembers them.

We decided sometimes it does hurt to ask – ESPECIALLY when the ask is done poorly. In the long run, asking well is easier and more fun for the nonprofit and corporate partner…and has better results. This is not news – but during our conversation we were shocked how many nonprofits don’t have good cultivation and solicitation practices.

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Entry filed under: Fundraising, Resources You Can Use!. Tags: , , .

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