More than once, I heard the following askes when I was doing mock asking during a client training session or accompany them to do their ask in real:
- We would be grateful if you can support our organization to realize our goal in improving the livelihood of elderlies by making a donation of $XXX
- It would be lovely if you can consider supporting our programme A, which is the brainchild of our wonderful team after consulting with our potential beneficiaries
At both times I would mutter to myself, I just don’t care about your organization!
What I care or prospects care about is the return on their investment (ROI), which is what impact was created and the difference was made to the community, the society, and the future through their investment. With this in mind, the ask should focus on supporting the community, the society, and the future accordingly. So the asks should be rephrased as:
- It would be wonderful that you can support the homeless by providing them hot meals and other supports with a gift of $XXX so that they won’t have to be starving through freezing cold winter nights
- The kids would certainly be thrilled to know that you are supporting them by providing them with a safe and proper space for after-school studies through our programme A
See the difference in both the tone and focuses?
At the core is the beneficiaries, service users, the community, the society or the future. Also, it tells what are the expected changes, differences that are going to make or the impact envisioned, not how great your organization is nor how wonderfully your programme structured.
It is indeed pretty easy in altering the mindset and approach in making the ask. Keep practicing such asking exercise by doing mock asking with your team and allow each other to make comments on how to make improvements along this line and learn from each other.