One approach to arriving at a suggested donation amount is to give the would-be donor multiple choices. These should include the amount of the fundraiser's own average donation, one value a little less, and two choices a little higher, according to Fundraiser 123.
It also helps to match the amounts to the concrete items or services the charity could provide. In the case of asking for donations in exchange for items taken, it is recommended to follow the guides from The Salvation Army and Bay Area Rescue. Both provide a list of items with their corresponding ideal donation amounts. They also give two amounts, a low one and a high one, in order to set boundaries for donors. However, this may not always be sufficient, according to Fundraiser Basic. When the charity is not offering specific items and has more fluid goals, making vague requests may send the message that its needs have not yet been adequately quantified. Instead, it may be more productive to start with a goal in mind, work out how much money is required to attain the goal and suggest a specific number to each donor. If the request is phrased carefully and respectfully, it is unlikely for a prospective donor to take offense, even if the number is higher than he expects.