As a fund raiser, you are always looking for referrals, but there is a right way to ask.
Most people requesting referrals get caught up in the general ask instead of being more specific.
As you ask for referrals, make it your goal to help your donors think through their networks. Usually a general ask such as: “Who in your church?” Will result in a blank look and an” I can’t think of any referrals.”
Examples of specific asks for referrals are:
- Who is in your bible study?
- Who is on your church committee?
- Who is in your small group?
- Who is in your Sunday school class?
For example, by asking: “Who in your bible study?” Will help your donor visualize the individuals in that group making it easier for them to think of some referrals for you.
The more you know about your donor and the networks that they have, the more specific you can be and the more results you will see. You will find that being more specific in your ask can make a significant difference in your donor’s ability to provide your referrals.
By the way it is only natural to make the general ask for referrals, I find myself doing that from time to time.
Remember: Make it a habit to be specific in your ask for referrals. It will make a world of difference!