Day four of the Nonprofit Power Week series with Fundraising Academy at National University! Hannah Berger, CFRE, focuses on Phase Three of the Cause Selling fundraising process, which is the “ASK” phase. Hannah and our co-hosts explain that the ASK phase is not as scary as it seems and highlight the keys to building a strong donor relationship before making the ASK.

Hannah explains that the cause selling cycle is a comprehensive framework that covers the entire donor relationship, from prospecting to the ASK. Fundraising Academy’s approach prioritizes getting to know the donor and understanding their interests and values. The ASK is seen as a natural progression of the relationship rather than a fast request for money.

Hannah emphasizes the importance of mindset and confidence when making the ASK. Hannah shares her personal experience of overcoming nervousness by reframing the ASK as a formalization of the relationship, comparing the fundraising process to dating–reminding us of the need to take time to build a connection with the donor before making the ASK.

The interview also discusses the concept of celebration in the ASK phase, highlighting the joy and meaning that comes from helping donors create a positive impact in their community. The importance of effective stewardship is emphasized, with Hannah stressing the need for prompt, personalized, passionate, and positive thank-you messages to donors.

During the episode, the hosts and guest chat about the Fundraising Academy’s Cause Selling Accelerate program, which is a 10-week online course that covers the entire cause selling cycle. The program includes group discussions, real-world examples, and personal action plans to help fundraisers apply their learnings effectively.