During a recent prospective donor strategy with a client of Richner & Richner, the organization was considering011515-fulture-of-philanthropy-e1420828949708 asking a donor for $100,000.

Our research revealed that the donor had made gifts of $250,000 to other organizations.  This information was easily gleaned from public sources including annual reports from other non-profits.

We advised the client to seek $250,000, implying that the client is worthy of the same level of support as other organizations in the region that the donor had supported.

They asked for $250,000 and a pledge was made at that amount.

With an established relationship with a prospective donor, it is rarely a mistake to ask,  “Would you consider making our organization your top philanthropic priority?”  At a minimum, it is wise to ask a potential donor to consider making your organization one of their top priorities.

In response to an ambitious solicitation, the worst thing a donor might say is, “I don’t view your organization in the top category at this time.”