The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project, or Business Venture , Updated and Expanded Edition
January 2010, Jossey-Bass
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“Asking is a part of every aspect of our lives. It should be as natural as walking, having an enjoyable conversation, smiling, and breathing . . . but I know for many people it is the one thing they dread the most,” says fundraising expert Laura Fredricks. In her new book, THE ASK: How To Ask For Support For Your Non-Profit Cause, Creative Project, Or Business Venture (Jossey Bass, A Wiley Imprint/February 2010), Fredricks shows people in both the non-profit and business worlds how to make asking for anything easy, meaningful, and rewarding.
Fredricks, who has spearheaded highly successful capital campaigns at both Pace University and Temple University and who teaches her winning strategies to organizations worldwide, has created a step-by-step guide that anyone can use. She covers nearly every type of asking situation from raising million-dollar contributions to funding a new business to getting a raise. Filled with exercises, anecdotes, case studies, and sample conversations, THE ASK shows readers what to do before, during, and after they ask for money or ask for themselves.
Understand Your Own Relationship To Money First
According to Fredricks, the first step in the asking process is to understand what money means to you. Perhaps money helps you determine your status or sense of self-worth. Or perhaps it’s something that you find stressful or unpleasant to talk about. Thoughts about money can range from what you have to what you do not have, what you want, and what you cannot afford. “People who are comfortable with money make very good askers,” Fredricks explains. Therefore, she devotes time to helping readers understand their personal relationship with money and the fear that they may feel rejected when they ask for it.
Create A Detailed Plan
The key to successful asking is being organized and having a detailed plan. In today’s difficult economy, people want to know as much as possible about what they are being asked to support. If you are uncertain about the facts or the future of your organization, or unclear about why you think you deserve something, the person being asked is likely to say no. Fredricks shows readers how to develop in-depth, structured plans for nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals.
Making The Ask
Throughout THE ASK, Fredricks is clear that it is critical to make the Ask in person. She acknowledges that there are times when this is difficult to do, but emphasizes that the chances for success are greatly enhanced by face-to-face meetings. She helps readers structure the meetings, decide where they will take place, and plan what they will say. She also gives advice on researching whom to ask, ways to cultivate that person, and timing.
Perhaps the biggest secret revealed in THE ASK is this: the Ask takes 25 percent of your time – the follow-up is 75 percent. “Every Ask needs to be followed up until you have an answer. The key is to vary the communication and vary the communicator,” Fredricks says, presenting in-depth follow-up strategies. She also explains the best ways to handle both “yes” and “no” answers. “Don’t beat yourself up when you receive a “no” answer. Thank the person and leave the door open for a future Ask.” When the answer is “yes”, make sure that everyone involved thanks the person for his or her generosity, and recognize that this can be the beginning of many yes responses to come. Fredricks shows readers how to develop these long-term relationships whether it’s for an organization or an individual.
Whatever you want to ask for, Laura Fredrick’s advice will help you get positive results. She is an expert at making the Ask an exciting and life-enhancing experience.
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The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project, or Business Venture , Updated and Expanded Edition (US $39.95)
-and- Fundraising For Dummies, 3rd Edition (US $21.99)
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