Whether you are in crisis, need a floater to get by or are raising money for a cause or mission trip, asking for money from a friend can be a bit of a challenge. Finding people who want to help and have the money to do so can only be done through actually posing the question. Spreading out the load over several people relieves the pressure of asking a single person for a burdensome amount.
Determine exactly how much money you need, the date you need it by, and the direct benefits to you and others that having the money would provide. For example, if you are going on a trip to Ethiopia you might say, "I need $3200 by April 1. This money will help orphans receive better housing, as I participate in a building project." If you are recovering from an economic hardship you might say, "I need $400 by next Friday in order to pay my rent and keep the electricity on. This money will help my family stay in our home and continue to work in our community."
Make a list of your friends and acquaintances. Simply brainstorm the list without editing at first. Think of friends of your family and extended family members. Keep writing until you can't think of anyone else.
Decide if the amount needed is too large to ask one person for. If so, begin your quest by approaching 10 or 15 of the people closest to you. Tell them your need, as formulated in step one, or write it in a personal letter to give them time to think without pressure. If one person can feasibly cover the amount you need, begin by choosing the top three or four people to ask and begin asking them one by one. Be sure to ask a direct question, "Are you able and willing to help me?" or "Would you be able to help me out with my financial need?"
Let the people you ask know directly if this is money you intend to repay or a debt you will not be able to pay back. Specify anything you are willing to do in return for the favor. Remain realistic in what you can offer in return.
Take a deep breath and listen to their reply. If it is a no, be grateful and kind. If yes, genuinely thank them without going overboard.
- friends image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com