Five Maples’ Fundraising Blog

Ask strings for donations above $100: How to do it.

Data shows that annual fund donors are influenced by round numbers. Here’s how to improve your annual fund results by using the right ask strings for gifts over $100.

I’ll bet that if you look at the distribution of your organization’s last annual fund gifts, you’ll find that gifts above $100 are almost all in round number amounts.

To demonstrate this I compiled a data file of over 160,000 annual fund gifts from 30 of our clients—more than $25 million in gifts.

In a previous post I examined gifts from $1 to $100.

The following chart shows the distribution of gifts above $100 up to $1,000. There are 249 different gift amounts represented, but the round amounts of $150, $250, $300, $500 and $1,000 account for 80 percent of the gifts.

a chart of gift value amounts over 100 dollars.


Donors are five times more likely to give one of the round numbers than an amount in between, as shown in the following table.

a chart of gifts from 1 to 100 dollars.


When it comes to money (and a lot of other things), we all think in round numbers. Ask strings help donors jump to the next level by combining the two psychological factors of round numbers and anchoring.

I recommend that you use our downloadable table of ask strings. It has been developed through data analysis and experience and incorporates the principles I’m discussing. It works hard to encourage those gifts of $1,000, $500 and $250 that you need.

For more information on asking, read the following posts:
Why anchoring improves your average donation.
Why you should ask your donors for $100.
Above $1000: How to handle ask strings for major donors.
How to use ask sentences to sustain and increase giving.

Download “How Ask Strings Work”

Download Primer: How to Use Ask Sentences

Get our help with your annual fund mailing.

You’ll get the attention to detail that you need. Call me at 800-437 7780 Ext 104, or Email Me Today!


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