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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Asking (soliciting) people for money can be a stressful or challenging endeavor. But, you know, so is just about everything we do the first time. And how do we learn to do something the first time? Someone teaches us either verbally or by way of writing a book. This book does a wonderful job of explaining "The Ask" part of not-for-profit fundraising in its 10 chapters:

1. Soliciting Money Usually Causes Jitters
2. Prospect Research and Evaluating a Prospective Donor for Gift-Giving Readiness
3. Who Should Do the Ask?
4. How to Prepare for an Ask
5. Asking for Non-Major Gifts
6. Asking for Major Gifts in Annual Campaign Setting
7. Asking for Planned Gifts (Deferred Gifts)
8. Asking for Major Gifts in Capital Campaign Setting
9. How to Respond to Prospective Donor after Making the Ask
10. Follow-Up for Each Ask

The author is certainly qualified to write the book. She has a number of years experience working in a major gift setting for a well established university in New York. It surprised me when I stumbled across this book in the bookstore that there was enough material on the subject to actually write this book. But apparently there is more than enough to talk about on the subject. I probably would have titled the book "Soliciting Major Gifts" instead of The Ask. But then I would not have included Chapter 5 either.

Let's face it, face-to-face gift solicitation is predominantly a major gift thing. There might be some face-to-face gift solicitation of donors for sizeable (but not major) gifts, but for the most part that is the exception not the rule. Major gifts as I know them are $10,000 and up. Many are six figures! Now that is something to get jittery over.

I would have liked the book better if it had not been as wordy as it was. Instead of providing the chapter titles in this review as they were written in the book I changed them a bit. I think my titles explain the contents of the book better. I also found the list of TEN (10) basic categories of responses to an ask included in the book to be way too long. I'm familiar with there being just four: (1) Yes I will give, (2) No I won't give, (3) That's too much, and (4) Let me think about it and get back to you. And there was some overlap of "guiding principles" included at page 213 of the book - so I think there could have been fewer principles included in that list.

I have a feeling this book will get its most use from board members of nonprofits and leadership teams heading up capital campaigns at nonprofits. It is my understanding that most people involved in major gift solicitations at the big nonprofits (schools and hospitals) already have a system in place for helping major gift solicitors feel at ease doing an ask and doing it well. In fact, this book is probably a public version of one of those schools' in-house guides. 5 stars!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
One of the best things about The Ask is it is not just about major gifts. Fredricks outlines how to seek donations for special events (auctions, luncheons, golf tournaments)and the annual fund as well as major and planned gifts and capital gifts. She also guides the reader through overcoming personal factors in money that can make a person hesitate or even indefinitely postpone an ask. She directs "the asker" to consider the prospect's views on money before asking, too. There is also an outline of the "essential elements" for any kind of ask from which both novice and experienced askers can benefit. This is one of the best of its type around!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I find this book to be very detailed and specific, giving useful examples of how to exercise the theories of fundraising covered in the book.

However, the book is extremely America-centric. Most other countries have not caught up to America in the field of philanthropy. For this reason many of the recommendations cannot be adopted or need to be scaled down for Australian fundraisers.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
You have just accepted a staff or volunteer position with a prominent local nonprofit organization. One small problem: up until this point, you never have asked anyone for a dime for charity. Fund-raising is a brand new field for you, and now you must routinely solicit large donations and other vital financial assistance from local community and business leaders. Asking for money does not come naturally to most people. Well, here's some good news: As with any other established area of expertise, you can learn this skill. You can put proven methodologies to work to persuade people to make major financial contributions to your organization. We recommend this intelligent, informative manual on valuable fund-raising procedures and techniques. Laura Fredricks is a true expert on the subject and she details all her hard-won knowledge in this book. You can't ask for much more than that. Or then again, according to Fredricks, you can. Indeed, she will teach you how to ask for everything that your organization needs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I teach face-to-face solicitation. I do face-to-face solicitation as a volunteer. And I work with my clients to get them to do face-to-face solicitation as part of their annual fundraising program.

Laura's book is very helpful to organizations that realize this is a must-do in any effective fund development program. And, the book helps you reduce your fears.

The book is filled with great examples with specific language to use. Check out the wonderful responses that Laura provides when a prospect expresses concern or doubt or delay. Use the handy lists to find the right solicitors, identify the best prospects, and more.

Read this book if you want to improve your face-to-face solicitation program --- or start one.

Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE. Author of Keep Your Donors: The Guide to Better Communications and Stronger Relationships; and Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is a must-read for anyone doing fundraising for a non-profit. The author writes very clearly and it is very much a how-to book. She talks about everything involved in asking for money, from what is needed in prospect research, to knowing when to ask, how much to ask for, who should do the ask, and even scripts suggesting what to say and why. She includes everything that must be done in advance and the importance of cultivation and what it entails. She emphasizes the need to spend a good amount of time on the follow-up to the ask and that many organizations leave too much money on the table by not following up appropriately. Then she talks about the need for stewardship and exactly the procedures for ensuring that the giver will most probably want to give again. An indispensable book! I found it extremely helpful and learned a lot that I am sure will make me a much more effective fundraiser for my organization. In addition to fundraising for non-profits, she has interesting things to say to people asking for money for themselves or a business, including how to ask for a raise or promotion!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have read several books on fundraising, and this is by far the best. I am running a for-profit business, and the methods Ms. Fredricks outlines is just as applicable. Too many fundraising books are written for big non-profits with too-specific information in their field. Not this one. You can apply it to whoever you are asking for funds. Very well written, reasoned, and easy to use. I now have it in my library to refer to again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I'd recommend it to anyone in the Non-profit field. An excellent treaties on the topic. Many job seekers I've interviewed need this book - teaches important skills all should have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
Format: Audible Audio EditionVerified Purchase
This book offers both tactical and psychological advice on The Ask- providing insight for future fundraisers as well as seasoned fundraisers who have asked for thousands of gifts. I promise this book will make you think about your tactics, approach and process.

Very insightful and very helpful- I highly recommend!
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on August 3, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Written from a practitioners point of view, this book is all about the practice of the ask versus the theory of it.
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