Making the Big Ask: Part 1


Can you imagine the world without non-profits? Without non-profits, our world would be less effective in tackling some of humanities greatest challenges. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics in 2014 Americans gave a total of 358.38 billion dollars to charitable causes, and in 2010 almost 10% of wages and salaries paid in the USA were from the non-profit sector. That’s a huge impact! Imagine if those contributions never happened? Who would help provide aid for those who need it most? Where would all of these passionate people go to work? Who would have the time and resources to work on these admirable solutions?

Luckily we don’t have to imagine such a world because philanthropy is alive and well. In a free market system non-profits are capable of organizing, capitalizing, and meeting the needs of others. Non-Profits are literally a gift from God! They are filled with energetic people with a passionate purpose and who live to change the world. It’s important that the mission and hearts of these organizations never die! Our world depends on them to harness the compassionate heart of the human race.

You might be thinking, but what does any of this have to do with, “Making The Big Ask?” I’ll explain. You see, the common denominator in all of this is that none of what I shared above is possible without people, “Making The Big Ask.” Sharing your heart and vision will not be enough to keep your organization going. You have to have the guts to ask for money. You have to know how to sell yourself and your mission all at the same time. You cannot just expect people to be as excited or passionate about your mission as you are. You have to be able to build your case in order for people to even feel compelled to give to your non-profit. They need to feel that the well-being of your mission is dependent on them and your “ask” needs to become personal.

As someone who runs a non-profit organization and has built a company for non-profits, I’ve noticed something very important. The best non-profits do three things very well when “Making The Big Ask”. It’s a case of support that all of them have mastered and in order to keep your mission alive you need to be able to paint the following picture in your ask:

  • What does the world look like without your organization?  – The Problem
  • What does the world look like with your organization? – Potential Solution
  • Provide the reason why someone’s involvement is the solution. – Makes the solution possible.

In part two, I’ll break down and explain each one of these points and share more critical information that will help you in “Making The Big Ask”.  Non-Profits are a vital key to solving some of our greatest problems and I believe your organization can do the same. Selling your mission and gaining support is a lot like selling a product or service and your mission’s success will depend on how well you can master and sell this three-step case of support.  The good news is, you are the answer, and you’ve just been given one of the most valuable formulas in making an effective “ask”.

Written by: Matt Moore, managing member of Heartland Direct Intl. and President of The Young Businessmen of Tulsa

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