Q: Why is it important to pass out the pledge cards at the Ask Event? Why can't they be placed on the table?
Amy in New Mexico
A: At other fundraising events, you might expect people to come with a predetermined gift in mind—perhaps they take a look at their meal and double what they think it cost you to host them at the event and write their check for that amount. The Free One-Hour Ask Event is philosophically different. There is no minimum or maximum gift and we only expect any gifts at all to come from people who have attended a Point of Entry Event in the prior twelve months. In many cases, that will mean that about half of your guests will make any gift at all. We want to inspire people with the program so that by the time they are asked, they are truly ready to make a gift.
The Free One-Hour Ask Event Program is designed to be a powerful, emotional event that culminates with the ask for money. Throughout the program, your guests will hear stories about individuals whose lives have been touched by your work in addition to facts about your organization's programs and services. This blend of facts and emotion builds seamlessly during the hour, reconnecting guests to what they learned at the Point of Entry, leading up to the moment where they are naturally inspired to give.
If the pledge cards are on the table, conveniently waiting for guests to fill them out and perhaps leave early, you risk people making a gift before they have been presented with the entire program. If the cards are instead distributed by your Table Captains who are waiting for their cue to do so at just the right moment, guests receive these cards at the perfect point in the program: when your Pitch Person is ready to walk them through it. The job of your Pitch Person is to quickly but thoroughly explain the options for giving. This should be a board member or other high-level volunteer who is closely connected with your mission but not on your staff.