The Art of the Fundraising Ask

A Beginners Guide to Fundraising Success in "Asks"
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  • Lectures 18
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2015 English

Course Description

The Art of the Fundraising Ask course will guide you step-by-step through the process of preparing to ask for "major gifts" - a significant financial donation - from donors. You will learn what you will need to do to prepare yourself and your team. How much should you ask for. You will be able to identify specifically who should you ask (how to find donors of large gifts, whether they are in the $thousands, or even the $millions). How to rehearse an Ask. Who should do the Asking. The importance of formal recognition. And how to follow up for future success.

The course is taught be two very experienced fundraising professionals, who have raised $millions - and are very happy to share the processes and secrets of how you, too, can be very successful.

What are the requirements?

  • Knowledge about the non-profit and it's mandate and benefits to the community.
  • Ability to conduct research
  • Comfortable talking to people

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Students will understand the feasibility of their project, conduct research, successfully ask for large amounts of money.
  • Successfully ask for large amounts of money.
  • Create a successful fundraising campaign Asking for major gifts from donors of large amounts of money for a non-profit organization.
  • Understand how to follow up with and retain donors for long lasting donor relations.

Who is the target audience?

  • Fundraisers or Board members who need large gifts for a project, or for operational funds.
  • This is complete, but basic information, suitable for those starting out in fundraising.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction to the Course, and the Instructors

What you will learn from the course.

Who should take the course.

Summary of topics.


A few introductory words from instructors Karen Young and Vicki Raw.

1 page

Karen Young's experience in fundraising is outlined.

1 page

Vicki Raw's experiencem in fundraising is outlined.

Section 2: Pre-Preparation

Defining what an Ask is. What should you Ask for? Describing the mindset of a donor; Creative Asks that work.


Defining a Campaign. Who needs to be involved? Feasibiity study. Research.


Defining your Case for Support. The Case for Support document. Setting fundraising goals. Rule of thirds when goal-setting.


Preparing your Asks team of volunteers. Being sensitive and flexible when required. How to Ask. Practice!

Section 3: Preparing to Ask
Feasibility: community scan. Identifying who to Ask. Finetune the timing of the Ask. Identify what work you may need to do before launching your Ask. Who else might help? Feasibility questionaire sample. How to present the Feasibility study, and it's real benefits. Who to contact for your Feasibility Study.
Who do you Ask for funds? How to identify them. How to connect with them. Build your own team. Even if you don't know anyone, do this. Hiring a professional, what you should know. About your data.
1 page

A worksheet to help you determine

1. who you might Ask

2. who can introduce you


Prospective Donor data and research. Door Openers. Make a plan.

Section 4: The Ask

Who should be there? How to ask for a meeting. General outine of an Ask meeting Agenda.

Successful Ask: the actual Ask. How to respond if the donor doesn't say "yes" immediately. When to reschedule the Ask. What if they... don't respond, or other situations and how to handle them.

What paperwork to bring. Follow up.


Recognition Plan and Policy. Different levels of recognition, in proportion to generosity. From naming opportunities to media mentions. Charitable receipting guidelines (confirm your local law).

Why recognize donors? Several reasons...

3 questions

Describe several specific Recognitions

Section 5: After the Ask

Documentation of the donation. Your database information. What to ask for besides money.


With your prepared documents, also ask these organizations for funds.

Section 6: Retaining Donors

Why work at retaining your existing donors? Simple steps to take to retain donors.

Section 7: In Closing
Review of what we have covered in the course.

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Instructor Biography

Karen Young, Educator, entrepreneur, author, publisher

Karen Young brings over 20 years of business experience to effect a clear goal: to provide individuals with the skills they need for success.

Applying prior marketing and management experience in the service industry, Karen grew her small communication and marketing business into an accredited career college, preparing many hundreds of people for the workplace.

Not limited to the Boardroom or to the classroom, in 2008 Karen shifted focus, applying her broad experience in non-profit management and fundraising, to the alleviation of poverty in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, in the role of Director of Resource Development. She has built relationships in various sectors and communities around the region, participating in all aspects of fund development, volunteer management, and social enterprise creation. Karen has worked with non-profit organizations of all sizes, from micro start ups to large multi million dollar service agencies.

Karen's proven community building approaches are an asset to participants. Her involvement in the community won her the distinction of Woman of The Year for leadership with the Business and Professional Woman's Association, Fraser Valley.

Her volunteer experience includes former President of the local Symphony Orchestra Society (1999 - 2007), appointee to a government Arts grant-giving agency, BC Arts Council (2007 - 2012), a capital campaign Executive for a hospital, and on the organizing committee for Summer Games (1992 - 1995). In addition, Karen is former President of the local Chamber of Commerce.

She is an author of various books on fundraising and personal development, for example "Fundraising Primer", "101 Fundraising Events", and "Fundraising Handbook for Interns", as well as "Seven Simple Steps to Happy". And she is co-author of "Your Path to Success", a workbook and program.

Instructor Biography

Vicki Raw, Non-Profit Ninja

I am a senior executive with 19+ years of experience in the philanthropic, non-profit, health care sector.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have developed a career where I get to cultivate genuine relationships, share the joy of giving with others, and help so many people make a positive, lasting impact on our communities.

In my 14+ years as the Executive Director of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation I was instrumental in raising more than $22 million for the hospitals and health care services throughout the Fraser Valley Regional Hospital District.

Over the years I have developed:

- a respectful, inclusive leadership/mentorship style

- exceptional marketing, communication and presentation skills

- a solid understanding of CRA and BC Gaming rules, regulations and guidelines

- a firm understanding of non-profit accounting procedures

Through a passion for learning - and sometimes through necessity - I have had the opportunity to explore many areas of non-profit fundraising and have developed strong skills in:

- planned giving

- event planning

- project management

- major gifts acquisition

- grant writing

- strategic planning

- direct mailing

- human resource management – staff/volunteer

My specialties include:

- non-profit management

- revenue assessment/development

- donor recognition/stewardship

- stakeholder relations/Board engagement

- capital campaigns

- budgeting/non-profit accounting procedures

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