Using polite words and gestures when asking for donations for your school fundraisers is essential to helping you gain the trust of your donors. Always be polite and courteous in your messaging and communication before, during, and after the fundraiser.
Ways you can use to politely ask for donations for school fundraisers
Make donation requests using could you? or would you?
Here is how to politely use "could you?": "Could you please support our worthy cause by sending in a donation using the attached form below? Your donation will help us achieve our goal. Any donation helps!” (fill in your fundraiser details where noted in blue)
Here is how to sound polite when using "would you?": "Would you support our worthy cause starting with a small contribution? We need your help to achieve our goal which will mean so much to our students. Any amount will help us reach our goal." (fill in your fundraiser details where noted in blue)
By politely asking for donations with “could you” and “would you” questions and leaving the donation amount up to the individual to decide, your potential donors will understand that you need their help without expecting anyone to donate more than they can comfortably afford.
Let your donors know about the benefits of your school fundraiser.
When asking for donations, don’t hesitate to tell your donors how their contributions will benefit the donation recipients. It helps them better understand the reason for donating to a particular cause, thus making them feel included and connected to the cause.
Tell your donors what they will gain from participating in your school fundraiser
Some donors want to know how they will benefit from supporting your school's fundraising goal. Don’t hesitate to broadcast any gifts and rewards they stand to get if they choose to support your school's cause. It is a good motivator for them to participate in your school fundraiser.
Start your donation requests with a greeting
Always start your donation requests by greeting your targeted donors. A salutation is like a polite conversation starter, which helps connect the donation request sender and receiver. There should be confidence and warmth in your greeting, especially if you start a donation request via audio or video.
Address the donors by their professional titles
Always address your donors by their professional designations, such as Dr., Bishop, Mr., Mrs., instead of calling them by their first names. It demonstrates etiquette and respect, which you should take seriously when asking for donations for school fundraisers.
Introduce yourself to the person you are talking to
After greeting them, if you don't know the person you are calling on the phone, introduce yourself as you would if you were to meet the individuals for the first time in person. If you know the individual you are calling, ensure that you identify yourself before starting your donation request to help your donor remember who you are. Eliminate any confusion on your donors' end and ensure that your conversation is as efficient as possible.
Speak to your donors in your normal tone of voice
If you speak loudly on the phone, in-person, over the microphone, or on live stream, you may make your donors feel uncomfortable even before they hear what you have to tell them.
Also, if you speak too softly, it may be inconvenient for your donors to listen to your donation request. So, be polite and always talk in your normal voice as you would with a casual friend or relative when asking for donations. If you are unsure whether you speak too loudly or too softly, try to recruit a friend or colleague and practice before you start calling donors. Ask your practice partner to provide feedback on your tone of voice, approach, and the message.
Avoid using slang
When asking for donations, avoid using slang or profanity when representing your school fundraiser cause to your donors. Use professional, appropriate language as you would at work. To play it safe, only mention words that you are sure are appropriate for a formal setting.
Your school fundraiser story should be part of the culture of your donors.
Craft different school fundraiser stories for other target donors to help them connect with your cause. However good your cause may be, donors are not so moved by the facts of your school fundraiser. They mainly want to support their very own or causes, which resonate with what they know. So, when talking to donors about your school fundraiser, mention things like, "People like you support school fundraisers like this." Saying this makes your donors feel like you politely understand their values, which can prompt them to support you.
Be honest about the problem your school fundraiser intends to solve
Today, we live in an information age, and people can easily research you to understand the truth about your school fundraiser. Fundraising is not about telling lies to donors. Always tell it as it regards what you will do with the donations from your donors and the problem that needs to be solved. Honesty prompts donors to support your future school fundraisers the next time once they discover that you are honest with your word when they know they can trust that their funds will be used for the intended purpose.
Turn on the camera
There is always someone waiting. If you intend to request donations via a live video stream, it's polite for you to turn on the camera even before the meeting starts to let your audience see how you are getting ready. This way, people in your audience will feel like they are interacting with a real human being. This also buys you a little time to ensure your intended audience has ample time to join the live stream before you make your case for a donation.
Don't eat or drink on a live stream or a phone call
When requesting donations using live video streams, don't eat while your audience is watching. Remember, you want to be professional while speaking on the phone or a live stream. Eating, chewing, and drinking may be received by potential donors as rude or distracting.
When soliciting donations, the best practice is to be professional and polite in your conversations, messaging, requests, and actions.