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Asking for Advice Is Good Advice

Gail D. Rudolph, CFRE
Published:  03/24/2020

This post is part of our special series on fundraising during crisis and represents the opinions of an AHP affiliate.


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Now more than ever, healthcare and medical facilities need support. The global community has come together as one in a war against a large-scale threat to our health. We are helping our neighbors, sheltering in place, and putting our normal lives on hold for the greater good. 

Part of that greater good is ensuring that hospitals and those providing necessary medical care have the resources they need to threat those physically impacted. 

And a large part of this support may need to come from your key donors. 

But how, in a time of uncertainty, do we ask for financial assistance when so many are out of work because of the very thing we are fighting against? 

Social scientist and renown researcher on influence, Dr. Robert Cialdini says, “Asking advice is good advice.” 

Think of your donors as partners. Ask them for their advice early on–now–when it matters most. Most donors have unrushed time to spend talking with you now. Show your concern for their well being and brighten their day with a call from their trusted hospital fundraiser.  

Donors have the potential to make a big impact. By authentically asking for advice, input, and ideas, your organization will be rewarded. Not only will donors potentially come up with innovative and otherwise unconsidered concepts, seeking their advice "pre-suades" them to also give generously to your cause. 

When asked to provide their counsel and suggestions, donors are in a “merging state of mind,” feel strongly that they are involved in helping provide solutions for something vitally important to society at large. Donors who are asked for their opinions on solving a problem tend to rate the resulting outcome more highly, see themselves as more responsible, and have an increased affinity or respect for the organization that’s requested their advice. 

Of course, there will be suggestions offered that don’t fit your organization’s mission or direction, but just because you’ve asked for input doesn’t mean you need to apply those things that aren’t aligned with your overall goals. Communicate honestly and openly with your donors, and you will find they become lifelong partners. 

NEWS  /03/20/20
Alice Ayres interviews CDOs about strategies for navigating philanthropy in times of uncertainty.
NEWS  /03/16/20
Moving your meetings online? Here is how to keep everyone motivated and involved
NEWS  /03/23/20
Finding time to get out of the "office" is critical when your team is working from home.

Meet The Author

lift leadership
Gail D. Rudolph, CFRE
Cialdini Method Certified Trainer
LIFT Leadership, Inc.

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