Author Amy Eisenstein admits that fifty is a somewhat arbitrary number, but with approximately one ask per week, it fits nicely into a year and she has found that most small nonprofits are not making fifty asks per year. No matter how many asks you are currently making, the concept of 50 Asks in 50 Weeks is to get you asking more frequently, and more efficiently in addition to helping you diversify your funding base.
Published by Charity Channel Press as part of the “In the Trenches” series, this book is filled with worksheets, side bars, practical tips and definitions. It is written in a conversational style that includes the information that a beginner needs to get started and progress rapidly, as well as structured insight into what a more experienced fundraiser needs to move forward in their goals and achievements.
Starting with the “ask”
Ms. Eisenstein recommends spotlighting the number of asks your charity is making throughout the year to create an easy annual benchmark for your fundraising program. The starting point for this activity is defining your asks for the purpose of counting. Here is how the author breaks it down:
1 bulk mail appeal = 1 ask
Regardless of whether you are mailing to 50, 500 or 5,000, this includes event invitations, appeal letters, newsletters with business reply envelopes and e-mails with clear requests for funding.
1 individual request = 1 ask
Asking an individual for a specific amount for a specific project or purpose.
1 grant proposal (application) = 1 ask
Addressing a funder’s specific guidelines, not a generic application or letter.
1 sponsorship solicitation = 1 ask
Solicitation is specific to that prospect, not simply changing the name and address at the top of a letter, preferably with a personal contact from someone who knows the recipient of the letter or someone at the company.
Purchase your copy of 50 A$KS IN 50 WEEKS, by Amy M. Eisenstein, CFRE for only $27.50.