Are you making excuses or raising money?
If I had a dollar for every fundraiser that's told me they're not making major gift calls because "August is a slow month," I'd be able to make much larger gifts to nonprofits!
I actually like hearing that, in a twisted way. The more people "taking it easy" this month, the more chances are I'll get through. And the more chances the prospect won't be getting more calls from others!
Don't let a slow month kill your fundraising
Mindset is crucial in fundraising. Fundraising is hard work. And, as humans, we are constantly on the look out for excuses to get out of hard work. We avoid pain.
As fundraisers, we need to get over it. Our nonprofits deserve funding.
We need to trick ourselves. Really. We need to be so focused on the end goal, that we stop believing the excuses to stop.
Take August for example. Suppose you are making your calls and you are getting lots of prospects say "I'm on vacation in August" or "Call me back in the fall"? You have two options:
- You can roll over like a dog and say, "Ok. I'm sorry." (And secretly give yourself a pat on the back for at least making the call although you haven't raised any money.) Or
- You can reframe the information you're getting.
The power of reframing
Reframing means looking at the information you're getting in the light of your end goal.
If making calls is your end goal, then you're done. But your nonprofit could still go out of business. Your end goal for fundraising needs to be raising funds!
My friend Amy Eisenstein told her email list subscribers to use August calls to set up September appointments! Isn't that brilliant reframing?
If you just accept their "call me back in the fall" and hang up, you've got to start all over again in the fall. But if you reframe it in light of your goal of raising funds, you can say:
Great idea, [prospect name]. Let's get a time on the calendar now. Is the second week in September good for you?
This way you're still getting the appointment! Can you imagine how powerful your September will be if you take this approach? Rather than having to start all the calls from scratch -- chasing people down, reminding them that they put you off once already, etc. -- you'll have a full calendar of appointments! Your fall will be transformed.
And, more importantly, your nonprofit will get the funding it needs.
People are making donations this month. But only when asked. Are you too busy making excuses to ask?
What are other ways that you reframe?
Reframing is a powerful tool in a nonprofit fundraiser's toolkit. Chances are, you use this all the time. Where have you found it to help your fundraising? Tell us in the comments below!