Securing the Gift: Making the Ask with Confidence

Last updated March 16, 2023

Course Length

1h 24m

Last Updated

March 16, 2023

Securing the Gift: Making the Ask with Confidence

Last updated March 16, 2023

Compel your donor to support your institution by learning how to strategically approach the ask.


Gift officers can sometimes feel uncomfortable making the ask for a variety of reasons, and the anxiety they can produce may be felt and mirrored by donors, leading to a “no.” However, not making the ask can lead to missed opportunities and a loss of momentum with key prospects.

A successful ask comes down to the relationship you’ve built with the donor, being clear about your role and intent, and a strong solicitation strategy that leads up to this moment. This approach requires knowing your prospect well: understanding their giving history, what motivates them to give, and the relationships they’ve built with the different stakeholders at your institution.

Join this session to gain insights on how to strategically approach a prospect you have in mind to make the ask. When done right, this moment in a donor relationship should come organically with the assurance that the answer will be a yes—and if it is not, that the relationship will remain on solid ground, and you will get another opportunity to make an ask in the future.

Who should attend?

This training is for major gift officers who are frontline fundraisers and want to hone their skillset of making the ask to prospective donors. If you’re leading a frontline fundraising team and would like to emphasize how this stage of the giving process shouldn’t be as intimidating as it sounds, bring your team and learn together.


June 21, 2023

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET

Building a Solicitation Strategy Leading to the Ask

Before you approach a prospect to ask for a major gift, it’s important to build the relationship and do your homework. Your prospect might be passionate about your institution and support it, but that doesn’t always translate to a yes on a major gift. As a result, it is critical to learn as much about them as possible. Not only their age, giving history, and how close their relationship is with the institution, but how they feel about different issues, and how their interests align with your institutional and unit-based fundraising priorities. Learn what it means to build a solicitation strategy by working with leadership and other stakeholders on campus as you prepare for the ask.


Challenges Preventing the Ask

There are both strategic and mental roadblocks that prevent frontline fundraisers from successfully making the ask. From natural fear and discomfort, to fear of rejection, to errors such as timing, an insufficiently large ask, or too large an ask, many potential challenges stand between you and the yes. Learn and share what these challenges entail and walk away with a stronger understanding of how to overcome these hurdles while also learning how to move the prospect relationship forward.


A Successful Ask and Next Steps

Asking for the gift should come naturally and be expected from the prospect. We’ll talk through examples of what a successful ask looks like and the immediate next steps you need to take to ensure that the donor feels special, appreciated, and thanked while the gift is being accepted and processed at your institution.