As a fundraiser you deal with rejection a lot, right? Every time you send out 5,000 appeals and get 4,500 non-responders you feel rejected, true? On a larger scale, when you go on an “ask” and are told “No” have you ever tried to analyze why you got that response? Was it a
>”No, not for this” – You asked for children’s education support but the potential donor is interested in giving to adult or elder education.
>”No, not you” – Donor is 75 yrs of age and you’re 30…this may make for uncomfortable chemistry. In other words, who is the right person to ask so the donor will feel comfortable.
>”No, not me” – It’s the donor’s partner who makes those decisions…you need to know who the key decision maker is.
>”No, not unless” – Donor wants something you may or may not be able to promise. Know what you can promise in return for the gift.
>”No, not in this way” – Donor is not ready to make a monetary gift…suggest another way of helping commensurate with their capacity.
>”No, not now” – Donor indicates the timing of the “ask” is not good. When would be a good time?
>”No, too much” – You’ve asked for more than the individual is comfortable giving. What sum would the donor feel comfortable with?
>”No, too little” – Donor indicates he wishes to play a more impactful role in the campaign. “Well then X amount would make a truly significant difference.”
Or the dreaded:
>”No, go away!” – Donor says “no.” That doesn’t mean for always and ever. Back away for awhile. Figure out if the door is closed shut or slightly ajar. Is there an opening at some point that might re-establish a relationship?
Knowing which “no” you’ve gotten is critical. There is a reason for each of these “No’s” that you need to figure out instead of giving up.