Last week, I had someone pay me a huge, though unintended, compliment when unsubscribing from my email newsletter. She said the content was “far too basic” for her.

I was thrilled! I strive to make fundraising simple, basic, and easy to understand. Many of you have heard me say that the most extreme thing about fundraising is doing the basics:

Most importantly, asking!

Isn’t it amazing how often we don’t directly ask for money? We insinuate, suggest, imply, send letters. But somehow we forget to do the simplest, most basic part of fundraising: clearly ask for a specific dollar amount!

That’s why I loved a recent blog post by Nick Fellers. In it, he shared three questions he encourages his coaching clients to ask themselves every day:

  1. What can I do to bring in more money today?
  2. What am I doing to advance the ball with my top 10 prospects?
  3. What are my next action items to line up visits?

No doubt the person who unsubscribed from my newsletter would write these off as too basic. But before you blow those questions off as simple, therefore unimportant, re-read them.

These questions are so profound.

Fundraisers have incredible demands placed on us. Each year the bar is raised. As Simone Joyaux said at a recent conference, it’s like our organizations think we just print money in the basement!

All that pressure can have us forever looking for the latest and greatest thing. The shiny new toy to play with. The silver bullet to all our funding problems.

But the truth is: people give to people. Or rather, people give to people who ask them.

And that’s the beauty with these three questions. They focus our attention on what matters most. To the 20% of work that really matters in getting the 80% of our results.

In times like these, we certainly need focus!

So this week, I encourage you to:

  1. Read Nick Fellers’ blog post.
  2. Print out the three questions and tape them to your computer monitor.
  3. And ask yourself these questions as you plan each day.

I think you’ll find the simplicity and focus as helpful to your fundraising as I have!

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