Social Question

nikipedia's avatar

What is the most polite way to ask for donations?

Asked by nikipedia (27333 points ) September 8th, 2010

I am running a charity 5K race in a few weeks to raise money for breast cancer research. This is an issue that has affected my family and I feel very strongly about.

I thought asking for donations would be fairly straightforward but I find myself stumped as to how to word the requests. I put a note on my facebook but didn’t really like how it came out—it feels very awkward to be soliciting money from my friends and family.

Can any clever Fluther wordsmiths suggest some non-offensive wording for this request? Something simple, like: Please support me in my efforts to raise money for breast cancer research. Donations can be made at this website: www.nameofwebsite.com.

And, of course, if any of you are interested in donating, I would be happy to send you the link to my fundraising page!

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14 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

What about wording it in a way that says “please sponsor me in the 5k race for the cure”? Then you can go into more detail about the race for the cure after that line.

MeinTeil's avatar

Disguise it as taxes.

Akua's avatar

How about : “Donations Appreciated”

zen_'s avatar

I am running a charity 5K race in a few weeks to raise money for breast cancer research. This is an issue that has affected my family and I feel very strongly about. Could you help out by donating X amount of dollars. Thank you very much.

mowens's avatar

Give me money damnit.

Or, cook a dinner and invite them to it for 50 buck donation a plate….

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Shinedown has a pretty good answer; 45. “And I’m Staring down the barrel of a 45.” It’s playing right now.

wundayatta's avatar

@zen_ Has it down right. The formula is: who you are, who you represent, and why you are talking to them. You need to suggest donation amounts ($50 and up, I would think).

This all works better if you talk to people personally. I know that people of the internet world don’t understand this, but it is so much harder for someone to say no to your face than it is to “miss” that email or facebook announcement.

I spent four years of my life asking strangers for money for various causes. I was very good at it. I know what works. They still use the same formulas today. Of course, having been on the asking side, I now, on the askee side, know how to say no.

BoBo1946's avatar

I vote for Zen’s answer. The end.

nikipedia's avatar

@wundayatta: Hi. I’m nikipedia and I’m running the Komen 5K Race for the Cure to support breast cancer research. I’m here today to ask you for your support. Your donation will be used to help breast cancer education and research. Most donation amounts have been in the range of $25, but anything you can give will help save lives.

How’d I do? :)

zen_'s avatar

I hate to repeat what I said, but @wundayatta fine tuned it (he has the experience first-hand). I really think that the original phrasing is the best, as it is the most personal and real. Your second go felt rather ungenuine and made-up.

Try: I am running a charity 5K race in a few weeks to raise money for breast cancer research. This is an issue that has affected my family and I feel very strongly about. I’d appreciate your support, donations start at 25 dollars. Thank you.

funkdaddy's avatar

For facebook or face to face we can pretty much assume they’ll know who you are, you’re doing something great and don’t have to feel apologetic about it at all.

I’d throw in a goal, so something like

“As some of you know I’ll be running in the Komen 5k Race for the Cure Saturday to support breast cancer research. I’m trying to raise $500 for the cause and still need some donations to make my goal. If you’d like to sponsor me you can make donations at www.websitehere.com or just in get in touch to work something out.

If you’d rather come out and support the race in person everything kicks off at 5th and Main around 9 o’clock. I’ll be getting there early to warm up and would love to see you. Thanks.”

zen_'s avatar

^ Better.

MeinTeil's avatar

Say your cult leader will make you his captive sex slave if you come home empty handed.

wundayatta's avatar

@nikipedia Sorry for getting back to this thread so late, but yes, that sounds great!

When you name an amount (the suggested donation is (nice passive voice)), wait until they say no (if they do), before letting them off the hook and telling them anything might be ok. You could even offer them a particular reason to give more. Some folks are giving 5 per K, but I’m hoping you’ll give 10 per k.

Or I am close to being the highest fund raiser this year. If you give me X, that would go that much further in the fight for the cure (or whatever).

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