Making the Ask

Bernard Ross
Clare Segal

Publication date: June 15, 2021


SKU: 9781788602372 Category:



  • Usual thanks
  • Dedication


  • Background on how the model was developed
  • Several examples anecdotes where the approach has worked
  • Some of the science background and name check


This section outlines the key organising principle/model- the 5Ps and how they are interconnected:

  • Passion: how to get yourself, and your donor, into the right mindset to seek and secure support
  • Proposal: how to shape and organise a complex story into one that is salient and simple

Preparation: all the key issues you need to consider before you make the call, type the email, prepare the proposal

Persuasion: how to handle the interaction with a prospect- a range of psychological techniques to manage the conversation

Persistence: you rarely succeed in your first approach- this element explores how to deal with challenges

Chapter 1: Passion

  • Creating a personal anchor for you and the supporter: getting yourself into a success mindset and your prospects into a [philanthropic mindset
  • Understanding hygiene and motivation factors; understanding Hertzberg-inspired safety and motivation factors
  • Creating your Personal Brand: establishing how you want to come across in the situation- behaviors, appearance, style
  • Chapter 2: Proposal:
  • Organising complex messages: the =mc story framework using key psychological drivers: +/- outcomes and future/present
  • Creating Powerful Propositions: how to chunk your overall need into propositions related to the needs and interests of a prospect
  • Mr Ockham’s Shaving kit: how to ensure you have made your proposition super simple- a key to success

Chapter 3: Preparation

  • You can’t always get what you want: dividing up the outcome you want into a LIM-it: Like, Intend and Must. (A range of acceptable outcomes.)
  • Taking the prospect on a journey- how to shape the steps for the prospect towards a positive outcome beyond a successful gift
  • Think Feel Do: at every step you should consider three ?: what info do I want the prospect to know, how do I want them to feel, what do I want them to do?

Chapter 4: Persuasion

  • Building rapport: how to build engagement with people who are not like you- the importance of mirror neurons
  • How do people think they decide v how do people actually decide?: System 1 vs system 2 including key unconscious biases
  • VAK: the importance of adapting your language and communication style to match that of the prospect

Chapter 5: Persistence

  • The 9 Nos: when ‘no’ doesn’t really mean ‘No, but means ‘ask me a better question… ‘and the importance of Killer Questions
  • Be Resourceful: techniques to recover form challenges call on your Mental Mentors, or adopt a new Perceptual position
  • Learn from the Past: the importance of after action review- answering the three key learning questions

Glossary: explanation of key terms and phrases commonly used

Further Reading: related books and resources to explore

About the Authors: some background info and credibility building

The book will offer access to a range of complementary bonus material. This will be accessible on-line

How to be an effective Volunteer Board Fundraiser

Some specific hints on how to improve the effectiveness of volunteer fundraisers

Writing a Case for Support

A more detailed explanation of the =mc Case for Support Structure

Developing a supporter journey

How to move a prospect along the stages of the 5P model

Additional information

Publication date





Number of pages



216 x 140 x 216 mm