Don't turn to the "dark side"

Darth VaderWe fundraisers are a fascinating group of talented individuals. But this year, I'm seeing many of us talk ourselves out of asking for money, even when the donors have told us they'll give!

I guess it should make sense: successful fundraisers need to be good storytellers. But as they say, your greatest strength can become your greatest weakness. Rather than using that storytelling imagination to imagine reasons why the donor might want to give, we often build stories about why this is a bad time to ask for money. And we can be quite convincing!

The good news is that if we're already telling ourselves negative stories, we already have the skills needed to tell ourselves positive ones! As you start practicing telling yourself reasons why someone will give, it'll probably feel like you're lying to yourself. You may be, but no more than you're lying to yourself with the negative story!

I jokingly call this negative use of our imagination "turning to the dark side." Last week I was able to be in the 501 Videos studio to talk about it for yesterday's Movie Monday.

I also talk about the phrases I use to ask for money. And how practicing these phrases helps me to actually focus on the donor during the appointment!

You can see the entire three and a half minute video at:

About Marc A. Pitman

Marc A. Pitman is the CEO of The Concord Leadership Group, the author of Ask Without Fear! and director of The Nonprofit Academy. A coach to leaders around the world, Marc's expertise and enthusiasm engages audiences and has caught the attention of media organizations as diverse as Al Jazeera and Fox News. Marc’s experience also includes pastoring a Vineyard church, managing a gubernatorial campaign, and teaching internet marketing and fundraising at colleges and universities. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family! You can connect with him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook.
To get his free ebook on 21 ways to get board members engaged with fundraising, go to

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