Turn It Up!

May 7, 2013



Written By: jon

By Jon Simons

There are many ways to measure fundraising progress, but I want to add one more to the list. It’s not a measure of time, donors or even dollars – it’s a measure of degrees! If you want to make better “asks” and give your volunteers a proven tool for success, it’s time to turn it up!

Try it for yourself:

Step One

Extend your right arm out in front of you and position your hand with your palm facing up. Welcome to what I like to call the beggars position. Keep your hand in that position for a bit (Can you feel the weight of it?). In this position you are clearly communicating, “please give.” This may look familiar if you have ever walked the streets of a major city or spent any time with a teenager in a mall.

As you can imagine, this non-verbal body language often provides discomfort for both parties involved. As a matter of fact, just the idea of being forced into this position is one of the main reasons that your volunteers are avoiding your calls!

Step Two

Next (assuming your arm is still extended and your palm is facing up), I want you to shift your hand position 90 degrees so that your thumb is now pointed at the ceiling. Doesn’t that feel better? Who doesn’t like the traditional “hand shake” position? With your hand set in this most inviting position you are saying “welcome” even before the words come from your mouth.

This simple hand adjustment represents a critical shift from “please give” (hand flat) to “please join me” (thumb pointed to the ceiling). “Join me” communicates that you are personally committed to the cause you are asking them to support.

Which sounds better to you?

Please give money to this important cause. They really need your help.


Please join me in supporting this important cause. Together we can make a real difference.

So the next time you are going to consider asking someone for support, consider a 90-degree shift in your approach. If people know that you are personally committed to the cause, they are much more likely to give you a favorable response.



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