Fundraising Ideas for the Fund Raiser

Home
Yellow Pages
Newsletter
Contact Information
Free Booklets
Fundraising Classifieds
Subscribe - Free
Fundraising ideas for a fundraiser Great new fundraising ideas for your next fundraiser
New Fundraisers FUNDRAISER OF THE MONTH "Looking for more fundraising choices?"

SUBSCRIBE FREE
Make sure you get all this good fundraising info every time we publish a new article!

Your Name:

Your E-mail Address:

We promise never to sell, rent, or give your email address to anyone else. PERIOD!

Bookmark This Fundraiser Site
Share this Fundraising Site
Fundraising Feed Subscribe in a reader


Article Archive

Fundraising Auctions

Fundraising Calendar

Fundraising Events

Grants

Fundraising Ideas

Nonprofit Leadership

Fundraising Letters

Nonprofit Newsletters

Planned Giving

Publicity

Fundraising Raffles

Fundraising Strategies

Volunteers

General




Fundraising Products, Services and Ideas

Fundraising Newsletter

Fundraising secrets, tips & hints

The Word You Hear Most Often When Fundraising

by Andy Robinson

From the Contributions Magazine "How-to" Library


When I’m working with group of board members or other volunteers, I often begin with an exercise. I ask people to take a blank piece of paper and draw a vertical line down the center of the page. On one side, I tell them to write a plus sign (+) and on the other, a minus sign (-).

“Under the plus sign,” I say, “write anything about you - your skills, your beliefs, your experience, your attitude - that’s going to help you to be an effective fundraiser. I’m not asking about your organization, I’m asking about you - your personal qualities. Under the minus sign, write anything about you - your fears, your discomfort, your lack of experience, whatever - that’s going to get in the way of you being successful. What are your barriers?”

After a few minutes, we discuss what people have written. The group always compiles an impressive list of strengths. They’re creative, personable, articulate, and organized. They contribute money themselves. They have sales skills. They write well. They’re good listeners. Most importantly, they are passionate about their organizations.

You can probably guess the weaknesses. They have no fundraising experience, no time, and no energy. They’re shy. They’re disorganized. They sit on several boards, so they’re fundraising (supposedly) for several groups. They don’t know anyone who has money. They feel that asking for donations is impolite. Most of all, they’re afraid of rejection - they’re concerned that people will say no.

Let me make this very clear: the word you hear most often in fundraising is “no.” Most of the people you ask say no. That’s how it works. To quote Kim Klein, author and trainer extraordinaire, “Fundraising is a volume business.” You need to ask a lot of people, because most folks will turn you down.

In 1980, I began my life in fundraising as a door-to-door canvasser. Night after night, I talked with strangers about social change and asked them to join our organization. As canvassers, we were expected to sign up one out of eight people; for every enthusiastic person who said, “Let me write you a check,” seven others said, “Go away.”

Over the course of more than two years, I gave 10,000 pitches on 10,000 doorsteps. I did an exceptional job - I broke records for my organization - but one night, toward the end of my canvassing career, I found myself sitting on the curb, crying in the rain. I had been rejected about 8,800 times.

You’ve heard this before, but if you’re like me, you need to hear it again: Don’t take it personally. People choose not to give for a variety of reasons - in most cases, they simply have other priorities - but it’s rarely about you, the solicitor: what you said or didn’t say, your clothing, your cologne, your inability to interpret body language, or your comedic timing. Looking back at the previous exercise, you might want to add the words “thick skin” in the plus column, because I guarantee you one thing: somebody will turn you down.

That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news: to paraphrase Klein, you and your organizational colleagues already know all the people you need to know to raise all the money you need to raise. You have the relationships - right now - to meet your financial goals.

“But I can’t ask my friends!”

“How many of you,” I ask the group, “would be uncomfortable asking friends and family to donate to your favorite group?”

Most of the people in the room - dozens and dozens of them - raise their hands.

“Why?”

“I don’t want to take advantage of them,” says one.

“I don’t want to be seen as mercenary,” responds another. “Friendship and money don’t mix.”

“They’re going to turn around and ask me to support their groups,” says a third, and everyone laughs appreciatively. “I can’t afford to say yes to everyone.”

“How many of you have done it anyway?” I ask

. Nearly every hand goes up.

“So has anyone ever lost or damaged a friendship because of a charitable request?”

The room goes quiet. We all look at each other, sitting on our hands.

I’ve asked this question of thousands of people. Perhaps one out of 50 will talk about a friendship gone sour due to miscommunication or inappropriate expectations. The other 49 of us sit silently, wondering why our fears are so disconnected from reality.

Most of us have been raised to solve our own problems and not trouble anyone else. Independence, we’ve been told, is the great American virtue. Asking for help somehow implies we’re not clever enough or strong enough - it’s a sign of weakness. We fear it will obligate us to do something in return that we don’t really want to do.

Let’s be honest - when we’re raising money, we are asking for help. If we individually had enough money or energy or power to solve community problems alone, we’d probably just do it ourselves.

Unfortunately, big challenges such as poverty, disease, and injustice require big solutions. None of use can solve them individually. We need each other.

Let me suggest a way of asking that might ease your mind. “Maxine,” you say, “I’m involved with a great cause. We’re doing terrific work to improve our community and we need your help. If you could support us with a $500 donation, it would mean a great deal to me. If you choose not to participate, that’s OK - we’ll still be friends no matter what. But I sure hope you can help.”

In other words, when you ask, you give the person explicit permission to say no. There’s no pressure involved.

Given your passion and the power of your cause, some will say yes. I promise you that they will be grateful for the opportunity to participate.



AddThis Social Bookmark Button
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
 Subscribe in a reader

***********************


About the Author:

Andy Robinson is a consultant and trainer based in Plainfield, Vermont. He is the author of Big Gifts for Small Groups: A Board Member’s 1-Hour Guide to Securing Gifts of $500 to $5,000 and Great Boards for Small Groups: A 1-Hour Guide to Governing a Growing Nonprofit, both of which can be ordered from Emerson & Church, Publishers. You can reach Andy at 802-479-7365 or andyfund@earthlink.net.



This article is reprinted from the Contributions Magazine (www.contributionsmagazine.com) "How-to" Library with permission.

Contributions Magazine, the "How-to" Source for Nonprofit Professionals published four times yearly, offers free subscriptions to nonprofit staff and volunteers. Visit www.contributionsmagazine.com to subscribe.





Want to get more great fundraising information just like this?
Join our mailing list and we'll send you an email every time we publish a new article!

Your Name:

Your E-mail Address:

We promise never to sell, rent, or give your
email address to anyone else. PERIOD!


Editor's Picks

Fundraising Booklets
Cookiedough Fundraising
Scratchcard Fundraising
Safe Fundraising



Recommended Suppliers

Constant Contact
The gold standard in nonprofit email newsletter delivery. Custom newsletter templates, funding appeals, event updates & more. 20% nonprofit discount!

www.constantcontact.com


Recommended Books

7 Essential Steps to Raising Money by Mail
Learn with practical examples, detailed checklists, writing helps and other tools. Sample letters for different types of solicitations and for different nonprofit groups. A step by step guide to writing fundraising letters.

www.StepByStepFundraising.com

Silent Auction Guide & Toolkit
Learn how to create a successful silent auction fundraiser. Silent auction strategies, timelines, auction items and how to organize and display them, how to close an auction and take payments, and other add on fundraisers to boost the bottom line of your silent auction.

www.StepByStepFundraising.com

Let's Raise Money
The inside scoop about small group fundraising. Learn from the founder of a national fundraising company as he reveals secrets observed over nearly two decades of fundraising.
www.LetsRaiseMoney.com
Read a Free Excerpt

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a 5K Run or Walk Fundraiser
Plan a successful race from scratch. Proven marketing strategies, find and manage volunteers, maximize revenues, recruit and motivate teams. Checklists, forms, speadsheets, worksheets all included.

www.CharityMile.com

Secrets of the Charity Auction Experts
Learn from the experts! Discover the best selling auction items. How to get auction items donated. How to boost attendance. How to get more bids and higher selling prices. How to coordinating volunteers, staff and auction consultants.

www.StepByStepFundraising.com

Grant Writing for Beginners
Learn how to quickly and easily establish relationships with regional foundations and build a strong base of grant support for your nonprofit.

www.WriteGrantProposals.com
Read a Free Excerpt




Index / Subscribe Free / Contact Info / Fundraising Yellow Pages
Fundraising Newsletter / Fundraising Booklets
Fundraising Classifieds / Fundraising Links


ISSN 1530-5813 - Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA
copyright © 1996 - 2010 all rights reserved Fund$Raiser Cyberzine