How to Ask for Money if You Hate It

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  • 1. How to ask for money -- even if you hate to By Nancy Bocskor The secret to fundraising? You must ask people to contribute to yourcampaign. Surveys show that people will contribute to the candidate of their choicebut only if they=re asked. Fundraising is no different from selling a product;confidence is key to your success. If you don=t believe in yourself, no one elsewill. Take a suggestion from the master of promoting self-confidence, DaleCarnegie. 10 paraphrase, Carnegie advised his students to meet strangers with theenthusiasm of a puppy dog -- and thev=ll no longer be strangers. NOVl... we don-=t"-A.:!_ ._ .;!..:! "-"~advise tllat Vetil lick the faces of Doterltial contriblltors~". but enthusiasm and self- """confidence will make you a top-notch ftJ.l1draisedOne-on-one; personal solicitation is the most cost -effective way to raise~ """_F:""-............ . :_-.-..-1 ........,...L,............;..;..- .......:__....lT ..l ....... .-. __ -...~~ . i..-~ .. -:,..: 1+.L ~:~i L __............. ........__L Al!!tJ!lt::,Y uil:! !t::!l:!HVt::!,Y ~!!tJ!!. pt:!!tJu.!! UUHC ~tJ!!t::~Hy, UH~ 1::5UiC :Slilg!t:: ut:::st !!!C!llUUto rHl~e ---0-- dollars ouicklv ::inn to eXllf1Dt1 vonr Clrf~ie of suooorters,------ fllP-h ---~---- -1-----r-------r;r---- .------~!---.-- --d ---.- --.-- - SllCCi~ssftllcandidates spend 35 - 5C)~YOof their time raising 111011ey" This timeust be bllilt into yClllf schedttle, preferabl)~ every (lay ~111Just as the name implies, person-to-person solicitation involves you, the: a-: ~.__ ....""&. --: . "tl; .c.anCiloale .. or one or VOlll r.ln~iTICeCOfl11111uee.;nlemDers aSifln2: a DDtcntlal ccntnourcr:f ~; ~~::; considered the most difficult. Manv neonle dont like to ask for money. =-:! E..E.However, practice does make it easier. In fact, rehearsing with the help of a video3323 North Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201703-276-7488 nancy(i]}nancybocs/wr. com

2. camera is an excellent way to improve skills and build confidence. Have a script tohelp you practice: your greeting, making small talk, perfecting your sales pitch(why you can win) and closing the deal.One-on-one fundraising is extremely effective, the return is high, the cost isminimum and turnaround time is short. The major donor level is whatever you determine it to be for your campaignand your district -- $250, $500, $1,000. Be sure to think big -- you want to ask thesepeople to give the most they can. And remember to ask a spouse to give themaximum amount as well. A couple can give $4,000 in the primary and general.(On top of that, the FEe allows a couple to spend up to $1,000 each to host afundraiser for your campaign in their home only. The contribution can includepostage, printing, entertainment, food and refreshments. ) You wont insult people by asking them for more than they may give. In fact,you have complimented them by asking them to be on a higher fmanciallevel thanthey may consider. Remember the importance of flattery. However, you run therisk of insulting a potential donor by asking for too little. Its also easier to comedown in your request rather than to ask for more after you have asked for too little.The more information you have about a potential contributor, the easier it isfor you to ask for money. For instance, if you know that Joe Smith is a $1,000donor to your GOP State Party, that gives you a guideline to follow about potentialgiving levels. Further, the more personal your appeal, the better chance youll have ] ~- -. 1" -- ,-,to COi.!.ecta. contnbunon: It yOlt and the pet.entIa.!. contnbutor were both graas ot therl ----- ~" ~.. ..~..--.--. ~ State Unrversrty 2ti1d al1.11111U ot tile S3111e traterruty, make sure you mention t1:.JS" Prioritize .vhlch potential contributors will require a personal visit. Ask yourfinance committee members to help you prioritize these visits. A ns.ver theseti -nn;1 ~-iCllcont "h -;--7;i! E:.l.~1,", ",-, ,)01.1 lluutivv fom1"t";f+l3t::l, member withoutques~lO~" lITh; h "-V1. . ~nuu_v~,",""1..1._ t~-rl /3 trio ~1 1 ..c;n~"3ftfl>),-,,,-,1. .. _L V_LL1.liCLH!."-V __-Ha visit from you -- that your phone can will be adequate? Who should accompanyyou on the person~J visit? W-ho wm follow up to collect money (although in theperfect world we want you to walk out of the meeting with a check)? Who will3323 North Washington BlvdArlington, VA 22201703-276-7488 3. make sure a personal thank you note is sent (preferably handwritten)?If youve decided some people can be solicited by phone, prioritize this list.Sometimes its easier to have your finance director help you make calls.The finance director can place the call and then hand you the phone. Manycandidates are motivated by a flip chart showing their success (such as on PBSmarathons). I make sure the candidate is as comfortable as possible -- providing softdrinks and snacks -- and starting the candidate out with some "softball" requests.Its motivating for your first calls to go to "easy sells" -- youll gain confidence andcontinue your efforts. Again, practice with a script to get you started. Car phones make your fundraising efforts easier -- you can work your listswhile the driver takes you to your next event.Remember, raising money is no different from selling other products. Beconfident; if you dont believe in yourself, no one else will. Insurance salesmen arehappy if only two or three of every 100 people they contact buy their product. Youcan "up" those odds with good research before you start making calls.Guidelines to follow when personally asking people for money1.Promote the idea that theyre making a personal investment in bettering theirfuture -- for themselves and their families -- by contributing to yourcampaign,2.Be optimistic, aggressive, sincere and excited about your campaign.3.Be convincing. As a candidate, if you dont believe in yourself, no one elsewill.4.Be flexible. Listen closely and be sure to get to the "ask" before theprospective contributor ends the meeting. A good time to give your pitch is 3323 North Washington BlvdArlington, VA NancyBocskor. com 4. when they nod their head in agreement. Watch body language.5.Look at the situation from the potential contributors point of view. Whats init for them?6.Communicate with potential contributors on their level. For example, treatCEOs with the respect they deserve while educating them about yourcandidacy.7.Call the district "our community" and show the role that you play in it.8.Dont leave without a firm commitment, and if possible, get the check.9.All previous and potential contributors need attention. Dont take yourfmancial base for granted. Always send personal thank you notes (preferablyhandwritten) to major donors.10. If the potential donor isnt ready to contribute, leave the door open tocome back. Dont burn bridges in a primary!11. Dont ask for too many things. If you give options, the potentialcontributor may agree to the non-monetary choice. 3323 North Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201 703-276-7488nancy@nancybocskor.comNancybocskor. com