The big ask captivates us.
“If she would only give us the $1.5 million. . . ”
“If that company would only be our event’s title sponsor. . . ”
The big ask is so captivating, in fact, that it’s tempting to start there. “Let’s go ask and see what they say!” is the trill of the obtuse fundraiser.
Then, we might prepare some materials to help make the case. We might even seek to understand the motivations for them to make such a commitment. We might even talk with a volunteer who knows the prospective donor well and ask if they could help with the ask.
And, finally, we might even assess whether our relationship with them is sufficiently mature, open, and trust-filled to warrant such an ask.
There isn’t a universal formula for inviting big gifts. But, if there were, the steps would almost certainly go in the exact opposite direction.