The Joy of the Ask

Asking your peers for a gift can be fun. Establish a rapport and treat the conversation as you would any other. Successful giving conversations have some common elements. Weaving these elements into your discussion will maximize your chances of a positive outcome at every gift level. Remember, this is just a conversation.

Talking Tips

1 Introduction and rapport building: Say who you are. Find common ground. Ask what they’re up to. Mention Middlebury.4 Solution: Refer to pages four through eight for suggestions on how to talk about the Annual Fund and financial aid.
2 Purpose: Say why you’re calling. Explain your role as a class agent. Be friendly but also be up front.5 Urgency: The sooner you give, the sooner you can make an impact on campus. Be an early bird!
3 The challenge and the need: Middlebury’s top fundraising priorities are the Annual Fund and financial aid.6 Ask: Don’t forget to ask for their support. Use the ask amounts the Annual Giving Office suggests and encourage them to join you in making a gift this year.

Other Tips to Keep in Mind

Email is good. Calling is better. Face-to-face is the best. (Skype and FaceTime are cool, too!)


Lead by example. Make your own gift to the College before reaching out to your classmates. Then ask them to join you in supporting the College.

It’s okay to have butterflies. Remember, the more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your classmate will be.

A “no” does not have to be the end of the conversation. Within every “no” there’s an opportunity to understand your classmate’s perspective. So ask why someone is saying no. Hear the person out. If your classmate doesn’t give a reason, ask why. Most are grateful for the opportunity to express their concerns.

Don’t forget to say thank you. The Annual Giving Office can provide you with thank-you cards and templates.

Be in touch with us. The staff in the Office of Annual Giving, as well as members of the Annual Fund Executive Committee, are here to help you do this important work.