10 Guiding Principles for Any Ask | npENGAGE

10 Guiding Principles for Any Ask

By on Oct 29, 2010


I recently ran across a review of Laura Fredricks’ book, “The Ask: How to Ask Anyone for Any Amount for any Purpose,” which was published a few years ago.  Within, Laura presents “The 10 Guiding Principles for Any Ask.”  As I read the list, I was struck by how pertinent and timely this reading was and I wanted to share her thoughts.

Laura’s first three principles match my own and I can’t imagine interacting with donors in any other way.  Read these and reflect on your own cultivation style.

  1. The more personal and sincere you are with the people you are cultivating, the quicker you will be able to make the ask.
  2. Every prospect must be treated separately and distinctly.
  3. Anyone asking for a gift must first make his or her own gift.

As you read this list, ask yourself:

“Am I sincere with my communications? Is that sincerity reflected in my words, my passion for the organization and its mission?”

“Have I asked enough questions to understand this particular prospect’s point of view and involvement with the organization? Have I provided or will I take the time to collect and provide the most meaningful information or interaction for this person?”

“Have I supported the organization or project at the highest level to which I am able?  Or, am I expecting others to be involved even when I have not made my own commitment?”

In my opinion, these simple things bring me to a place where I can share my excitement, share my passion and share my involvement with others.  With that already in place, why wouldn’t others want to join me?

In future postings, I’ll share the remainder of Laura’s list of principles and ask you to consider their importance in your own work.

Katherine has over 30 years of experience in the fundraising industry as a consultant, development officer and advancement team manager. As a member of Blackbaud’s analytics consulting team for over a decade, she facilitates strategic, client-facing content for Blackbaud’s custom modeling, wealth screening, and prospect research solutions to enhance clients’ development efforts with data-driven strategies.  Before assuming this role, she served as the national director of gift planning at
the National Multiple Sclerosis Society home office. Katherine has raised over $200 million during her career. She is a past president of the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, a former lawyer and also served as an affiliation faculty member at Regis University where she taught development-related courses at the master’s level for more than 10 years. She is a frequent speaker at BBCON, NACGP, Apra, AFP and other industry conferences.

Comments (1)

  • Andrea Kihlstedt says:

    Thanks Katherine for calling attention to these essentials to keep in mind when getting ready to ask people for their commitment. It's amazing to watch solicitors fall in love with their organizations all over again when they make their own gifts and then find the courage to ask others.

    Andrea Kihlstedt
    Co-Founder, Asking Matters

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