If you want donations you have to ask for them

Newspaper articles don’t raise much money, and only the very best newsletters raise money. A donation box at the back of the annual report doesn’t raise much money either.

Asking people directly and passionately raises money. There are few shortcuts to this. And here’s the downside – the most effective ways of raising money today are also those that tend to upset people. Stopping people in the street and asking them for money is highly effective – but many people don’t like it.

So if you want to raise money you have to ask people for it. You can’t do this under your breath, in passing, ‘would you just’, ‘could you just’ type of asking. You need to be proud, direct and passionate when you ask, whether it is in person, over the telephone, by letter or to a room full of supporters. And who should do that asking?

The Convener and trustees are often the best people to do it. Sponsors like to meet the Convener and feel flattered if they are asked by them. Trustees are even better: they give their time for free because they care so much about the cause.

So, fundraising involves asking, and the trustees, guided, coached and helped by the fundraisers, are often the best people to do it.