[Warning: Rant in progress]
It’s happening again. I’m having lots of conversations with people that want an out. They want to know the magic mailing that will bring in lots of gifts. Or some magic event that will be a sure thing.
These people claim to be interested in learning to raise money. But they’re simply not willing to do the work.
You’re going to have to ask people for money!
The cheapest, most effective way to raise serious cash is to ask people for it. Directly. Face-to-face.
It’s not having an auction.
It’s not throwing a gala.
It’s not purchasing a mailing list.
It’s as simple as
- Researching your cause and your prospects
- Engaging them
- Asking them for the gift
- and having a system to love them whatever the outcome of the ask.
There is no magic.
If you are pressed for time and strapped for cash, the best use of your money and time is for you and any top leadership you may have to go out there and ask people to give $1000 or more to your cause this year.
It’s ok that you’re afraid. All of us are at some point or other. It’s not ok that you are willing to risk your causes’ demise merely because of your fear. Get off your seat and ask!
You’re not alone
You don’t have to do it alone. There are plenty of low cost resources mentioned all over this site: Fundraising Kick, the Ask Without Fear book and DVD, groups like 501 Mission Place. There are even free ones like this blog, my my free newsletter, and the free teaching videos of Movie Mondays.
And those are just resources I have a hand in! There are plenty of wonderfully gifted people out there willing to help you. Just look at the people on my nonprofit Twitter lists like:
But please don’t bug them if you’re not serious about funding your nonprofit; if you’re not going to work up the gumption at some point to ask people to invest in your cause.
You have to ask
No gallant knight will come riding in and make your funding shortfalls a thing of the past. You are the gallant knight. You create your own change by picking up the phone and setting up appointments. It’s not flashy but it’s darned effective.
Isn’t your cause worth it? Aren’t the people that depend on your cause worth it?
Now get to work and make some asks.
This is an ongoing rant of mine, too!
Have you ever seen the faux-ad from Saturday night live about the book for managing debt – Don’t Buy Stuff You Can’t Afford. For some reason, I always want to watch this after having the ‘but we need money/then you need to ask’ conversation.
That’s a riot! Thanks for posting the link to that video!
Thanks for this encouragement. I just talked with an Executive Director a few hours ago who had just asked for her first $1 million gift. Sounds like she has a great chance of getting it. But she wouldn’t have a chance if she hadn’t asked.
I was looking for fundraising tips and found your site. I think this tip is really the most important one: You have to ask! Thanks for this encouragement!
You’re welcome, Mika!
Have you seen the “Fundraising in the Bible” article? That might help your work too!
I received this post from a new fundraiser in IA:
Wow! What a kick in the tail, a shot in the arm and a great way to recharge the batteries. I just started following you on twitter and had a chance to read your ?rant? this morning. Powerful stuff, yet so simple. For a novice in the fundraising field, I appreciate the in-your-face post. What a great motivator to start a Wednesday morning.