When conducting a Fund-a-Need appeal at your gala, what dollar amount should you ask for first?  Do you ask for $1,000 as your first gift; $10,000; $5,000, $500, what? 

The truth is there is no absolute answer that works for every event because every nonprofit is different.  …But this we do know. Whatever number you ask for out of the gate you must have a lead donor secured at that dollar amount!  

Frequently clients request that I ask at a higher level in the hopes someone will jump in and participate at that amount.  I sometimes look at them and say, “Hope and prayer is for church. We need to have a momentum donor for a successful Fund-a-Need.”  Asking for a dollar number you don't have secured is too often followed by an awkward pause, and that's followed by anxious glances around the room before I  move down to a lower ask level. …Say you start at $5,000 and nobody raises their bid number. Awkward!  …Then you go to $2,500 and nobody raises their bid number.  …Those first two awkward asks can suck the energy right out of the room!  

Conversely, having a momentum donor throw their bid number enthusiastically in the air creates excitement and sets the example for the rest of your attendees. All of this supported by cheering staff and committee members at each level, of course. And that someone who raises their hand? Well, they may be just the person who inspires someone else to come in at that lead number of say $5,000.  

Securing lead/momentum gifts for your Fund-a-Need is a critical best practice. Learn this and more at our next class in Duluth on Thursday, March 30 at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Northland. We only get to Duluth twice a year. Make sure you take advantage of this visit now. The two hours you spend with us can result in thousands more for your nonprofit's next gala. We'll show you how!