Have you ever been put on the spot by an excellent question?
Last week, I was speaking at a Rotary Club. At the end of the presentation, one man asked this question:
For some of us, we’d rather have a long, sharp wooden stick put in our eye than ask people for money. What are the top three things that can help us overcome the fear of asking?
I loved his candor! What an image.
In the heat of the moment, I came up with:
- Seeing people turned on by the joy of giving.
- Reconnecting with your passion for the cause.
If you can accompany someone who will make the ask, you’ll see that donors are honored to be asked. And when you see donors pysched about asking, than you’ll start realizing that as a fundraiser, you’re not merely taking something from people…you’re actually giving them something too.
This is so important. If I had been able to think through the answer rather than responding off-the-cuff, this one would’ve been first. So often executive directors and fundraisers get removed from the actual mission their organization is accomplishing every day. Get out there. Mingle with the kids visiting your museum. Visit with the people eating at your soup kitchen. Talk to the patients in the clinic. Reconnecting with your passion might be enough to get you to overcome the awkwardness of asking.
…I choked here. I couldn’t really come up with a three. So I punted and asked the group.