Economy of Asking

23 May

As I continue to produce my feature film, I’ve been asking for advice, help, and insight from many people, mostly via email and Facebook.

It’s generally easy to ask for help on the internet – it’s impersonal and unobtrusive. This makes me wonder: has the “economy of asking” changed due to the internet? In other words, because it’s easier to ask online, are more people asking? And if more people are asking, are more people living audaciously?

On the flip side, during the telephone days and face-to-face days before that, was there less audacity? More audacity? Because it takes more courage to make an ask over the phone or in person, were fewer people boldly going forth?

Not sure if the devalued economy of asking is a good thing or not. Maybe the higher need for courage to ask over the phone or in person weeded out hacks and wannabes.

What do you think?


8 Responses to “Economy of Asking”

  1. Cassandra May 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    Hi there, I’m actually a professional fundraiser and I can tell you that far-and-away the most successful fundraising/asking is still done face-to-face, followed by over the phone, and then through a long, heartfelt and personal letter. Online asks and especially social media are still a long way down the list in terms of effectiveness (with only a few discreet examples of people or organisations that can really make this work). My advice would be to gulp down your pride and try some personal asking. You may be surprised at the results you get! :)

    • Christopher May 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

      Great advice – thank you! I don’t think anything will ever beat an in-person face-to-face meeting followed by a handshake! It touches the core of what we are: human…

      • Cassandra May 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

        True that! :)

    • Christopher May 30, 2013 at 7:43 am #

      Cassandra. I’ve been thinking a lot about what you’ve said! I will be heading to IN for a big fundraising push, and encouraged by your comment, I will be setting up personal meetings ahead of time. Have you found that most people who are inclined to give do so rather immediately? Or is there often a need for continued follow-up and appeal? Thanks!

      • Cassandra May 30, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

        Hi Christopher,
        Glad to have been of help.
        It really depends on a lot of things. Is there urgency in the ask? I.e. have you given them a reason to give now? It also depends on how much you’re asking for. Major gifts often require some thought and planning, and corporate gifts require group decision making.
        In general follow ups are highly recommended. In my experience with public appeals, you should expect to raise about an additional 50% of the original amount through follow ups.
        I don’t know your plan but if you’re talking major donors, this a longer-term relationship building approach and it is often not recommended to make an ask on the first meeting. As I say, this is for major gifts/philanthropy though, so may not be what you are looking at.
        Best of luck!

      • Christopher May 31, 2013 at 10:31 am #

        Good stuff – thank you again!

  2. monaelias May 23, 2013 at 5:30 am #

    It seems like the main source of communication these days are by email, text or Social Media. I do think that in the past it was harder to ask for help and took more courage because you had to call someone and directly ask them for help or advice and support. It puts the person on the spot to answer and can make it risky for you and a bit awkward for the other person. Now with technology, if you ask for help, someone can think about it and see what resources they have to help if any without as much pressure and let you know. Others who are not wanting to help may not respond. More people are likely to ask for help these days through Social Media and email from a variety of people acquaintances and friends. In the past someone may have asked for help directly from the people around them for example a professor, tutor, friend, coworker, parent, relative, or someone in the same field.

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