Designing An “Ask Package”

Sections of this topic

    An email asked if I know of any resources for designing an “Ask Package”

    The writer explained: “I’ve found lots of general rules such as ‘include your mission statement’ and ‘specifically outline what their donation will cover’ but I can’t find any templates for designing one. Are there any websites you could recommend?

    “We’re a very small non-profit organization developed to raise funds to cover costs for a martial arts tournament team, and we’re just in the beginning phases of developing the materials.

    “The “ask package” is what we want to give to prospective sponsors to ‘sell them’ our Non-Profit so they will donate to us. It’s more than just a fundraising letter, we want to include our mission statement, biographies of team members, statistics from past tournaments, and pictures, and then end with the sponsorship opportunities they can choose from.

    “Do you have any suggestions on where on the internet I might be able to find free resources for this purpose?”

    So, to start, There’s no such thing as an “ask package” – or there shouldn’t be !!

    Packages of materials (even with a cover letter) don’t do the asking. People who have established relationships with prospective donors do the asking. And looking to corporations to fund a nonprofit is to look to the least productive source of funding.

    To put money/time/effort into creating a “package” could likely not be the best use of your resources.

    Having said that, if you’re committed to raising money from corporations, the key is to focus on what the corporation can/will get from giving you money. They are profit-making entities, and they are driven by their bottom line … they must be, they answer to their stockholders/owners.

    Sending corporations a lot of unsolicited material often just annoys people. Your best bet is to (first) call the community relations or contributions departments of the corporations that might have an interest in your activities and ASK them what you’d need to do to get the corporation to want to give you money. That’s what those departments do.

    I also suggest that you read the three postings on Corporate Fundraising

    So, my answer to your question … create the narratives on your computer, and keep them there. If/when a corporation asks for more information, you can send them (only) what they ask for.

    But, if you send them a pile of slick materials, they may well think that you already have more money than you need … since you’re spending it on brochures/photographs/printing.


    Have a comment or a question about starting, evaluating, or expanding your fundraising program? Contact With over 30 years of counseling in major gifts, capital campaigns, bequest programs, and the planning studies to precede these three, he’ll be pleased to answer your questions.