Getting Your Ask Right

 By Anita Gallagher

There are only three short weeks until our #LatinosGive on #GivingTuesday contest (November 29th), so hopefully by now you’ve created – or better yet, submitted – your project and are perfecting your teamwork and campaign communications.

These last few days I’ve had the fortune to work alongside a man described by the Wall Street Journal as a “troubleshooter extraordinaire,” a real behind-the-scenes businessman who fixes problems and negotiates lucrative deals because he understands how people think and behave.

In search of some deep insights, I put the question to him, “What’s the secret to getting people to give you money?” His simple answer: “Ask.”

Often, we’re so busy describing the project, putting together our creative materials, and sorting out the tech, that we forget the one element that will most affect the success of our campaign: the way we frame the invitation to help.

This week, I invite you to focus on getting “your ask” right. Believe me – nail this, and the rest of the campaign will (almost) take care of itself!

#GivingTuesday Tips: Getting Your Ask Right

1. Make your ask clear and specific

An ask – also known as a call to action – should consist of:

  1. An actual question or invitation;
  2. A request for a concrete action;
  3. A specific reference to the quality or quantity of the action.

For example, asking, “Would you contribute $50 to children’s cancer treatment programs today?” is much more effective than writing, “Please consider helping our hospital.”

2. Frame your ask convincingly

How you introduce your ask makes a big difference in persuading donors to act on it. In a recent webinar, Jamie McDonald, Head of Civic Campaigns at #GivingTuesday, encouraged us to use a simple 3-step process involving a belief statement, a “you” statement, and an opportunity statement.

When raising funds for a student food pantry this could appear as:

Belief statement: We believe that no student should have to choose between food and learning.
“You” Statement: You can help us stock the pantry so that no CCBC student has to make that choice and go hungry.
Opportunity statement: Are you with us?

3. Reinforce your ask with branding

Branding – the use of clear and consistent visual cues to establish identity – helps inspire familiarity and trust, meaning more people will pay attention to the message and follow through on the call to action. Download our free #LatinosGive on #Giving Communications Toolkit to access the logos and gifs you need to help boost your campaign credibility and inspire action.

4. Use matching funds to boost your ask 

The opportunity to have your donation doubled is hugely motivating for donors – and on November 29th, HIPGive will distribute over $20,000 USD to double donations! Don’t miss out – review our webinar to discover tips for asking donors to give during matching funds time slots.

5. Test it out to achieve maximum impact

Not sure if you’re asking the right way? Put together a small group of potential donors, try out several alternatives, and ask for their feedback to help you choose the call to action most likely to inspire your potential donors to click “donate now.”


Find out more about our #LatinosGive on #GivingTuesday contest.  You might also like these related articles: