Join the waitlist if you want to join this Spring!
November 2019

Welcome New Members!

Plus a new blog post, advice from AM expert Joe Tumolo,
an Asking Styles tip, and On the Road

I'm thrilled to welcome new members from around the country and the world. Don't Ask, Don't Get was a huge success with more than 1,200 people participating in the workshops and a ton of new members joining. Membership is now closed until early 2020.

If you'd like to be added to the wait list for when membership opens again, click below!

Top Nine Questions to Ask a Donor

New post on the Asking Matters blog

Are these the absolute top nine? Who knows! But I love these questions. They’re so revealing. And they’re not rhetorical. They signal your desire to know what your donors feel and think. Never forget the more inquisitive you are, the more engaged your donors will feel.

We often talk about how to get your donors to do most of the talking (50% at a minimum). Well, the way to do it is to ask questions like the ones below. Questions that lead to rich answers… and more questions.

Be sure to read my article in Giving Tomorrow!
My article, "I'm an Introvert, and a Great Fundraiser" was featured in the October 2019 publication of Giving Tomorrow. They have generously shared a digital version of the piece for anyone who did not get a printed copy. You can read it here for free!

Advice from Asking Matters Expert Joe Tumolo

Don't make decisions for your donors!

I keep noticing that it’s so easy to make decisions for our donors. A donor may be upset by a misprint in the annual report and everyone is afraid to call him thinking he will never want to donate again. The only way to find out is to pick up the phone and call him.

A donor made her largest gift earlier this year. She can’t possibly want to talk about a planned gift. What’s the best way to find out? Go see her and ask her. A donor keeps putting us off and seems like they will never make a gift. How do we find out? Ask them. Give them the opportunity to say “no, I am not interested but didn’t have the heart to tell you” .

Next time your or a colleague find yourself guessing what your donor is thinking or will do, stop and ask yourself “Are we making decisions for our donors?”

Don’t Make Decisions for your donors!

Joe Tumolo is Asking Matters' resident planned giving and training expert. To read more from Joe, visit his page at Asking Matters, or visit his website,

Asking Styles Tip for the Month

I'm starting a new section – providing a tip on using the Asking Styles. Let me know when you use one!

Make Your Events Introvert-Friendly From the Get Go 
Many of us introverts (Kindred Spirits and Mission Controllers) arrive early in order to get our bearings. But if the events aren't ready to go, we're in this awkward position of standing around feeling way too visible. In fact, some introverts show up later – with the extroverts! – to make sure this isn't the case. Perhaps you can have an extroverted event committee member (Rainmaker or Go-Getter) ready to schmooze with early arrivals…like me!

On the Road

Fall 2019

Headed up to the Yale School of Drama to lead a seminar for the Theater Management Program's second and third-year graduate students. What a cool group… with the meatiest questions! Partnering based on one's Asking Style really resonated.

The class starts with everyone sharing their recent theater experiences and I got the best theater recommendations! If you're in the NYC-area, I was told not to miss Vineyard Theatre's "Is This a Room."

I also kicked off a six-part online course for a cohort of Volunteers of America affiliates. While I didn't have to travel for that, I was delighted to interact with dedicated staff from New England to Alaska, including a number I met last spring at their development conference. 

Part 1 focused on creating a detailed, strategic fundraising plan. Do you have one?! Whenever you write a fundraising plan, be sure to put your mission and vision at the top of the page, and pull in any strategies and goals from the organization's annual and strategic plans. These are your litmus test.

Here's to another great month of fundraising,


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