How to Ask for a Large Donation

10/25/18 12:58 PM / by Tom Minges, MA Theology

At some point, every pastor has to learn how to ask for a large donation. It's difficult to approach a member to ask for money. We make this intimidating experience easier with some tips. Learn how to deliver your pitch without offending your friends or getting kicked in the shins!

Tips on Asking for a Donation


Additional thoughts:

  1. Pray for humility: the person who is mindful that his or her work, success, and failure is for God's glory, and not his/her own pride, is fearless!
  2. Ask for large gifts in person. It’s much more difficult for the donor to say "No" to you face to face. Ask for an appointment. If you get an appointment, you’re 90% of the way there, because the member anticipates why you’re coming.How to Ask for a Large Donation
  3. Do the travelling. Always go to their office or home – don’t let them come to you. And go when the donor wants. Don’t not go because it’s inconvenient.
  4. Who should make the ask? Sometimes, rather than the pastor, it’s more effective to enlist an ally. When a social or professional peer asks a well-qualified peer to join him/her for a specific sum of money, that’s the magic of fund-raising. It’s very hard to turn away a friend or a colleague who’s a true believer and has already given to the cause.
  5. Thicken your skin. Don’t be afraid of a "No". "No"s build character. Those members who say "No" might not even mean it. They may mean "later", they might mean "maybe, I’ll give it some more thought", they might mean "have someone else ask me", they might mean "you asked for too little (or too much)". Try your best to analyze those rejections and learn from them.
  6. Make your move. Don’t wait too long, thinking, ‘Oh, the relationship needs time to mature.’ It’s more important to make a compelling case early than a perfect case too late.

 For more tips on how to make a solicitation via a letter. Check out our downloadable guide on writing an appeal letter.

Topics: Stewardship Ministry, Capital Campaigns, Annual Campaign

Tom Minges, MA Theology

Written by Tom Minges, MA Theology

Tom has served church congregations most of his life, as pastor, finance director, planner and stewardship coordinator, in many diverse church settings. For over five years he was director of the Office of Stewardship and Development for the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph, responsible for a multi-million dollar annual appeal, stewardship education, planned giving and development. Tom has M.A.s in Theology and Counseling and lives in south Kansas City with his wife Rebecca.

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