Asking for gifts – and particularly major gifts – is one of the toughest things to do in non-profit fundraising. So many fundraisers, board members, and non-profit leaders get anxious when it comes time to make an ask. Yet making great asks is one of the most important skills a non-profit fundraiser can learn.
That's why the book Asking Styles was so revolutionary when it first came out. Based on the premise that everyone can learn to make great asks, Asking Styles (and its companion website Asking Matters) revolutionized the concept of in-person asks. The book divided non-profit fundraisers into four different “asking styles,” and showed how everyone could learn to make a great ask by embracing and harnessing the power of their unique personality.
I've loved the concept since it was first introduced, and over the years I have referred hundreds of fundraising staff, executives, board members, volunteers, and consultants to the book and website to help them become better askers. That's why I was very excited to read Brian Saber's newest book Boards and Asking Styles: A Roadmap to Success. This new volume expands on the asking styles concept to help board members not only become better at asking, but better at using their unique talents to become a more cohesive fundraising force for their organization.
Helping Board Members Become Better Fundraisers
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the original Asking Styles system were (and are) board members. Board members are often shy about fundraising. They say things like, “I'm not good at it, I don't know anyone with money, and I'm not comfortable asking people for donations.” This is often because board members think they need to be super-networked extroverts in order to be successful with fundraising. Asking Styles showed board members that even introverts and those who felt awkward about asking for money could become fundraising superstars.
Boards and Asking Styles: A Roadmap to Success takes this idea further by honing in on the specific wants and needs of your board of directors. In this book, Brian will help you figure out not only your own unique asking style, but your entire board's leadership style. Brian will show you to build teamwork and camaraderie on your board that allows each of your board members to work together for your organization's common goals. Remember, each board member has a different fundraising style.. and together, those individual styles can add up to a fundraising force to be reckoned with.
Written for Board Members, Executives, and Fundraisers
Primarily, this book is written for non-profit board members. Most organizations would benefit from buying a copy for each of their board members as part of a board retreat or in advance of a board discussion on fundraising strategy. But board members aren't the only ones who will benefit from this book. By reading this book, Executive Directors, CEOs, and other non-profit leaders will gain important tools for helping guide and support their boards. Likewise, fundraisers at all levels will gain insights into their board members' mindsets and will be able to develop strategies for helping board members become the best fundraisers they can be.
Remember, your board is integral to your fundraising success. I highly recommend this book to non-profits of all sizes. It's a new and welcome addition to my fundraising library, and one that I will refer back to over and over again. You can get your own copy at Amazon by clicking here.
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