Running a nonprofit is an exciting, empowering and feel-good journey. You’ve figured out ins and outs of making an impact and you’ve met some memorable people and moving experiences.

But there is one part that is still making you nervous: actually asking people to donate. 

What?! Well, it might surprise you (maybe not?) how many people in the nonprofit world really are uncomfortable asking for funds.

When you are at the spot in your campaign, 1v1 or other fundraising effort when you are specifically asking for what you need, there a few pointers to consider in structuring your pitch.

How to structure the “Ask,” for successful fundraising.

  1. Be specific. Tell your donors exactly what they can offer and exactly how it will help. Find unique ways to quantify the data that your nonprofit has available, making donors understand how their specific gift — big or small — can make a difference. For example, a nonprofit who offers mentoring services to children might explain that just $25 provides the funding needed to give a kid a week of mentoring. If just 4 weeks of mentoring have been proven to make a positive impact on a child’s grades, then just $100 will really make a difference in the lives. Show your donors that the problem is manageable, and that their contribution will make a different.
  2. Make the call to action obvious. After showing people who they can help above, don’t just skirt around the issue. You can literally include in your ask, “Donate $100 to help 1 child today,” linking to a donate button. It’s a specific ask, it’s obvious — and you’ve now made it easy for your donors to do.
  3. Keep it short & sweet. While you may have captured your readers’ attention to this point, now you’ve got to keep them there — which could prove difficult with so much going on in the world today. Writing your ask in a way that is straight to the point helps people make a quick decision about donating, before you lose them to something else on their to-do list.