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Unlocking the Power of the Triple Ask

Olivia Hairfield
Published:  01/17/2024


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Healthcare Philanthropy Fundamentals

This article gives a broad overview of a topic with no prior knowledge required. It is appropriate for new healthcare fundraisers and individuals looking to fill in skill gaps.

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare philanthropy, organizations are constantly seeking ways to engage donors and secure lasting support. One effective strategy is the Triple Ask—a dynamic approach that goes beyond the traditional one-time donation and opens doors to sustained, multi-tiered giving.

Understanding the Triple Ask: A Holistic Approach

The Triple Ask presents donors with three distinct giving opportunities, each serving a unique purpose within the foundation’s larger philanthropic picture. It recognizes that donors may have different preferences, capacities, and motivations for giving and seeks to connect those needs in different ways to your organization. There are three components of the Triple Ask:

1. Planned Gift (Bequest, CGA, DAF):

  • The planned gift involves donors including charitable contributions in their long-term financial plans.
  • Bequests, Charitable Gift Annuities (CGA), and Donor-Advised Funds (DAF) fall under this category.
  • This component encourages donors to think the legacy they want to leave behind.

2. Campaign Gift:

  • These gifts are typically larger capital investments or major gifts.
  • Donors contribute to ongoing campaigns or specific initiatives, aligning their immediate giving with their personal, long-term philanthropic goals.
  • This component bridges the gap between the immediate impact of annual gifts and the enduring nature of planned gifts.

3. Annual Gift:

  • These gifts are typically smaller than campaign gifts.
  • Annual gifts provide crucial ongoing support, sustaining day-to-day operations.
  • This component encourages donors to remain actively engaged by making regular contributions, fostering ongoing connection to your foundation's mission.

The Key to the Triple Ask: Building Stronger Relationships

The Triple Ask is not just a transactional approach to fundraising. It is a strategy designed to cultivate meaningful, long-term relationships. Its holistic nature fosters a sense of inclusivity and belonging. By presenting donors with multiple opportunities, you can engage them at different levels and stages of their philanthropic journey. Be donor-centric when you’re thinking about your ask. Listen carefully in your conversations with the donor for clues about where their interests and your foundation's goals may align and target those areas. When it’s time to make the ask, make sure to clearly communicate the different giving opportunities, their impact, and how the donor can participate in each one.

After the Ask: Staying in Touch

Your job is not done after you’ve made the ask. Recognizing donors who engage in multiple giving avenues helps them stay connected to your mission. Share regular updates about how their donation is making a difference to your organization and their community. Highlight their contributions in email newsletters, at events, and through other communication channels to inspire others to follow suit. This acknowledgment shows gratitude but also reinforces the idea that every contribution, regardless of size or type, is valuable and appreciated.

The Triple Ask provides a more dynamic and inclusive strategy of connecting with donors. By offering donors a menu of giving options, organizations can forge deeper connections, foster loyalty, and ensure sustained support for their missions. Embracing the Triple Ask is a commitment to building enduring relationships that stand the test of time.


NEWS  /06/10/16
Using a multi-channel approach to annual giving deepens connections and drives impactful giving.
NEWS  /07/27/22
Planned giving conversations are complex, but they don't have to be scary. Here are some tips from the AHP Madison Institute to get you started.

Meet The Author

Olivia Hairfield
Marketing Senior Manager
Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

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