The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project, or Business Venture

The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project, or Business Venture

by Laura Fredricks

Hardcover(Updated and Expanded Edition)

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The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project, or Business Venture by Laura Fredricks

A completely revised edition of the must-have resource for increasing your nonprofit's bottom line

This thoroughly revised and updated edition of the best-selling book The Ask is filled with suggestions, guidelines, and down-to-earth advice that will give you the confidence to ask anyone for any size gift, for any purpose. Written in winning language, filled with sample dialogues, and offering a wealth of tips and tools, this book addresses common mistakes made when asking and shows how to correct each mistake, providing guidance and direction on how to make a great ask.

  • Offers step-by-step guidance for learning personal solicitation skills
  • Filled with real-world tools and techniques for raising money or support
  • Contains advice for overcoming situations such as hesitating to ask for money and following through on the ask
  • Written for fundraisers from any size organization

Includes information on how to apply asking skills to a fundraiser's personal and professional pursuits.

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470480946
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 01/26/2010
Edition description: Updated and Expanded Edition
Pages: 243
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

The Author

Laura Fredricks, JD, is an expert fundraiser, an internationally known inspirational speaker, and principal owner of her own boutique consulting company for nonprofits and businesses ( She is author of The Ask: How to Ask Anyone for Any Amount for Any Purpose and Developing Major Gifts.

Prior to opening her own company, Laura was the vice president for philanthropy at Pace University in New York City, where she raised $92 million in six years. She has been teaching nonprofit business management and fundraising techniques since 1994 for the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Duke University, New York University, and the Smithsonian Institution. She holds a communication degree from Rutgers College and a law degree from Western New England College School of Law.

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Table of Contents

Foreword (Ivan G. Seidenberg).




Part I What Do I Need To Know Before I Ask?

1 What Money Means to You and Why Ask?

What Does Money Mean to You?

Why Do You Hesitate to Ask?

Know the Person You Are Asking Before You Make the Ask.

Every Organization Has Its Own Charm.

People Like to Give Money.

Focus on Positive Results Not Negative Forces That Perceivably Get in the Way.


Looking Ahead.

2 Do You Have a Well Thought-Out Plan of What You Want?

The Importance of a Well Thought-Out Plan.

Case Statement for Nonprofits.

Business Plan for Businesses.

The Script for Each Ask.

Time Frame for the Ask.

The Warm-Up.

The Ask.

The Compelling Case.

Transitional Statements.

The Ask Amount and Purpose.

Examples of Specific Asks with Specific Amounts.

Benefits of the Gift.

Benefits of the Business Venture.

Remaining Silent.

The Anticipated Response.

The Close and Follow-up.

Who Speaks and Who Listens.

Fundraising Language.

Three-Step Method Prior to Any Ask.


Looking Ahead.

3 How Do I Know Who to Ask and When to Ask?

Who Should Be Asked?

Every Person Must Be Treated Individually.

Wealth Does Not Always Translate into Transferring Wealth.

Research Can Help to Prioritize Who to Ask.

Research—From a Distance.

Research—Up Close.

Prioritizing Your Top People.

Asking Friends, Relatives, or Colleagues Does Not Have to Be Stressful.

When Should You Ask?

The Readiness Formula.






Having Some but Not All of the Readiness Elements.

Asking for Money in Hard Economic Times.


Looking Ahead.

4 Who Should Make the Ask and in What Setting?

Who Should Make the Ask?

A Charismatic and Confident Personality Goes a Long Way.

Every Asker Must Give First.

Every Asker Must Have the Time Before, During, and After the Ask to Follow Through.

The Reward Is in the Ask.

Four Eyes Are Better than Two.

Executive Leadership as Part of the Ask.

Donors as Part of the Ask.

What Is the Best Setting for the Ask?


The Golf Course Ask.

Positive and Professional Dress and Demeanor.

Positive Body Language and Tone of Voice.

Making the Call to Set the Meeting for the Ask.

Paper or No Paper Before, During, or After the Ask.


Looking Ahead.

Part II—How Do I Make the Ask?

5 Asking for a Cause—Small and Large Charitable Gifts.

Asking for a Small and Significant Charitable Gift.

Asking for a Large and Transformational Charitable Gift.

Troubleshooting Tips to Apply Prior to the Ask.


Looking Ahead.

6 Asking for Yourself.

Asking for a Job-Related Cause.

Asking for a Job.

Asking for a New Job Title.

Asking for a Raise.

Asking for a Creative Project.

Asking for a Business Venture.


Looking Ahead.

7 Handling the Responses to the Ask.

Preparing for the Response.

Addressing the Person’s Response.


Looking Ahead.

8 Following Up with Each and Every Ask.

Next Steps After Each Ask.

Juggling Your Time to Do All the Follow-Up.

Troubleshooting Tips for the Follow-Up.


Looking Ahead.

9 When the Answer Is “No” and When the Answer Is “Yes”.

A “No” Answer.

A “Yes” Answer.


Looking Ahead.

10 Pulling It All Together.

About the Author.


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