Are you asking donors for something? Or, are you inviting donors to participate in something?
Asking suggests a power imbalance and that you hold the donor’s giving capacity in high esteem. Inviting suggests a partnership and that you hold the donor in high esteem.
Giving has significant benefits for both the giver and the recipient. When we recognize that benefits accrue to the donor, we are beginning to understand why we should stop asking and start inviting.
And inviting works. As a rule, humans want to be invited and included. Most major donors respond favorably to being invited.
There is, however, a key component to the invitation. You must sincerely want the donor more than her money.