Institute for Charitable Giving

This One Is Obvious: You Ask for the Order

Markita Andrew is 13 years old. She gives us the answer.

She is the all-time champion seller of Girl Scout cookies– 12,000 boxes last year. She has led the country the last several years.

She says: “You can’t just stand around and chat. You’ve got to lean forward, look them in the eye, and ask them to buy your cookies.” That’s it– you’ve got to ask for the order.

Ronald Steel wrote a biography of Walter Lippman. He asked Lippman why he gave all of his papers and memorabilia to Yale. He was, after all, a graduate of Harvard and a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers. He always assumed that Harvard would want his papers.

According to Steel, Harvard, in its usual way, assumed it would get his papers. But it never formally approached him. It never asked him.

And here’s the moral for all of us: Yale asked for his papers. And got them. It even got his beloved baseball hat!

It’s absolutely amazing what you don’t get when you don’t ask.


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