Why Face to Face Fundraising is Best

Published on May 5th, 2016

Brian Saber

President of Asking Matters
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Most of us would rather do just about anything than make a face-to-face ask. Even for those who find it relatively “easy,” it can be awkward and anxiety-inducing. Yet we do it – or we aim to do it – because instinctively we know it makes a huge impact… and the facts back that up.

Highest Success Rate

Asking in-person has the highest rate of success among all methods.

Kent Dove of the Indiana University Foundation analyzed different ways of giving. Not surprisingly, direct mail has the lowest success rate of the traditional fundraising methods – 1-2%. Phone calls – not cold calls but calls from one’s Alma mater or place of worship – have a 25% success rate.

Face-to-face asks on the other hand – 75%! Three out of four face-to-face meetings result in a gift. Those are great odds.

Watch my short 5-minute video here to learn why asking in person is so important:

Biggest Gifts

The biggest gifts always come from asking in-person.

How many of the big gifts you read about came from direct mail, special events, or a phonathon? Virtually none! Large gifts come about by cultivating donors and getting to know them in person, and then asking them face-to-face to make a gift.

Why is face-to-face so successful?

Well, first of all, if someone agrees to see you that shows a very high interest in giving. Generally your donors won’t agree to meet if they aren’t inclined to give.

Second, meeting face-to-face builds the relationship. It causes a deeper level of empathy to develop between you and your donor. Being with each other physically and being eye-to-eye creates an immediate bond – an immediate desire to come through and be seen as good in the other’s eyes.

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