Jerold Panas, on 4/24/19 8:00 AM
Fear of fundraising comes from four basic places in my experience:
Let’s address these one by one.
Once I had a job interview for a fundraising job. The VP of the fundraising department said with a glow in his eyes, “We just did a wealth screening of our donor list, and we have a billion dollars of potential.” I didn’t get the job, so I can’t say how much those donors gave. But I can guarantee it wasn’t a billion dollars. Not even close.
Let’s be honest—most people don’t like asking for money. In fact most of us don’t like asking for anything. So, why do we not only solicit individuals for charitable gifts, but do it in person?
Esther Choy, Leadership Story Lab, on 5/17/18 8:00 AM
You’re about to step up and speak to your supporters at your organization’s annual fundraising gala. You’re about to issue a “call for cash”—asking attendees to give anywhere from $1,000 to $25,000 more.
Last year, the gala’s donations fell shy of the targets, so the pressure is on. How do you ask for a major philanthropic gift in a way that makes your supporters eager to play a huge part in your organization’s success?
Andy Robinson, on 4/30/18 8:00 AM
In my book, How to Raise $500 to $5000 from Almost Anyone, I offer a multitude of fundraising how-tos, from identifying prospects to setting a goal to offering meaningful thank-yous. But perhaps the most difficult aspect of soliciting a donor is what I want to focus on here.
By now, we all know the importance of asking a donor for a specific amount—“I’m hoping you’ll be able to join us with a gift of $500.” That’s challenging enough for most of us, but here’s something even harder: asking for a contribution and then remaining silent.
Brian Saber, on 4/23/18 8:00 AM
The list of things that can keep us from getting out to ask is really long. Not enough time. Fear of rejection. Not thinking our donors are ready. Not wanting to step on relationships. Are any of these on your top 10 list?
At the end of the day, what gets us out there is mostly a combination of enthusiasm for the cause and a sense of responsibility.
Jerold Panas, on 3/26/18 8:00 AM
I’ve been asking for gifts for more than 40 years. Some as modest as $50, others for $100 million. You could say I’m acquainted with the do’s and don’ts of motivating donors.
In my book Asking you’ll find a detailed approach to soliciting major gifts. In this article, I’ll simply highlight eight suggestions to keep in mind as you prepare yourself and your board for the big push.
If you’re a fundraiser, it’s often helpful to think like a donor.
When leading workshops, I encourage people to flip this mental switch. “How many of you have ever given away money to anybody for any reason at all?” Of course, all the hands go up.
Then I ask people to pair off and talk about why they give. These small groups generate a long list of reasons; here’s one of the most popular. Giving feels good.
I test this with the participants. “How many of you have ever made a charitable gift and felt good about it?” Again, everyone raises their hands.
This leads to another challenging question: Why are we so uncomfortable asking people to do something that makes them feel good when they do it?