11 May Asking For More
17 Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him (Othniel) in marriage. 18 One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What can I do for you?” 19 She replied, “Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs (Joshua 15:17-19).
Aksah was Caleb’s only daughter whom he gave in marriage to Othniel as a reward for conquering the city of Kiriath Sepher. Her dowry was a tract of land in the Negev, but she wanted more. So, she urged her husband to ask her dad for water to irrigate her land. Scripture doesn’t record Othniel’s response. Perhaps he felt it would seem ungracious or presumptuous ask for another gift, but that didn’t stop Aksah. She went to Caleb and boldly asked for more! Aksah teaches us four lessons about asking!Overcome Reluctance.
Othniel was a brave warrior, but when it came to asking, Aksah felt he needed a little push. Sometimes we struggle asking major donors for additional gifts. We question if we should ask again or whether the donor would even consider a second gift. Here’s an important fundraising rule: Don’t decide for your donors, let them make up their own minds about giving to your project.Ask Personally.
This request was so important to Aksah that she was determined to ask for herself. She didn’t wait for Othniel or task a servant to deliver the message. She saddled up her donkey and made a donor visit. Modern technology is wonderful, but don’t rely on mail, email, texts, or even Zoom. Make every effort to visit your donor face to face when asking for a big gift.Be Proactive.
When Caleb asked, “What can I do for you?”, Aksah was prepared with an answer. She thanked him for giving her land and then asked for a special favor, “Give me also springs of water.” You must have clear outcomes in mind for your major donor calls. What do you hope to accomplish in your meeting? Not every meeting is an ask, but when it’s time to ask, be clear about what you want your donor to do.Understand Relationships.
Aksah certainly had an advantage in this solicitation. She was Caleb’s only daughter, her husband was a respected leader who would become Israel’s first judge, Caleb had already given a generous first gift, and then there’s the granddad factor. She was the right person to make the ask. In your major donor relationships, you must earn the right to ask. Big requests shouldn’t be a surprise. How have you strengthened your key donor relationships, so they are ready to give?
Response: Father, forgive me for my reluctance to ask for a second gift. Help me cultivate strong donor relationships. Give me boldness to ask. Prompt my donors to be generous!
Think About This: When you make solicitation assignments for your team, always choose the person who has the strongest relationship with the donor. Make it easy for your donor to say “Yes,” and difficult for them to say, “No.”
Have a Spirit-led fundraising week,
Ron Haas has served the Lord as a pastor, the vice president of advancement of a Bible college, a Christian foundation director, a board member and a fundraising consultant. He’s authored two books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising and Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for At the Center magazine and Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.