Thanks for asking, but no

Let’s discuss one of the main reasons people don’t like to ask others for money: We don’t want to be told no. But we will sometimes be told no, so we have to consider the possibility and keep the noes in perspective.

Think of approaching potential donors as a little like the game of baseball. No one hits a home run every time at bat, but you may hit a homer a few times at bat. So, keep getting up to bat. Keep swinging!

Perhaps hockey great Wayne Gretzky said it best, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Every missed opportunity to ask for support is definitely a no for MU Extension.

Here are some tips for how to handle a no.

  • Don’t take a no personally. Although someone has said no to your request, that person is not rejecting you. These are the main reasons people don’t give:
    • They don’t have any relationship to the organization.
    • They don’t identify with the cause.
    • Follow-up did not occur as promised.
    • They could not see the impact of the nonprofit organization.
    • The person asking used pressure tactics.
    • The person asking was boring and unenthusiastic.
    • They have other priorities.
    • They felt the organization misused funds or did not devote enough to programs.
    • They could not afford to give at the time they were asked.
    • They felt the person asking was not personally invested in or acquainted with the cause.
    • The person asking did not appear informed about the organization.
  • Thank them for considering the request. Mention that MU Extension always welcomes their support should they be able to give in the future.
  • There’s always a small good to learn from a “no” situation. Find it.
  • Finally, shake off the no. Don’t dwell on it or over analyze it. You’re one “ask” closer to a yes.

Remember, people won’t give until you ask.

Director of Donor Education Cynthia Crawford in collaboration with Director of Development Cat Comley, 2013.