Changing the way you think about money is a vital key to becoming successful at fundraising. In this guest post, Andrea Waltz points out an important area for us to address. Andrea is the author of “Go for No! Yes is the destination, No is how you get there” – an important book in helping us reframe rejection. You can find more in her “Go For No! for Fundraising Success” training in the Nonprofit Academy or by going to her site On Twitter, she’s @GoForNo

Expanding Your Money Mindset

by Andrea Waltz

It’s no surprise that our values, beliefs and thoughts about money – our “money mindset” – deeply influence every area of our lives, including our professional one. And it’s a wake-up call for anyone who asks for money.

Recently I read that everyone spends like a millionaire in at least one category and it seems that in every aspect of life, you can do it.

For example, did you know you can spend $43 on one cup of instant noodles from Harrods? If spending money on outrageous clothing is important to you, there’s a $10,000 diamond studded hoodie you can buy. A Tiffany brand sterling silver tennis ball can is just $1,500. If you love travel, you can stay in the Royal Penthouse Suite at Hotel President Wilson in Geneva for $65,000 a night. If you’re a consumer of supplements, the most expensive Ginseng plant ever purchased cost $400,000.

Can you imagine being the salesperson for some of these things? And if you were, how would your beliefs about these items or the money it takes to buy them, influence your actions during the sale? You’d have to learn not to place your own spending limits onto the customer.

The same can be said when it comes to asking for money. You can’t put your own money in your donor’s wallet.

Don’t put your limits on the donor

The best way to determine your own or someone else’s money mindset is to ask this question:

“How much do you feel is a really large amount to donate to our cause/organization?”

The answer to that question is not to catch someone in a wrong answer. However the best answer is, “However much the person would like to give.”

It’s human nature to have a number in our minds. But that number has the chance of limiting our effectiveness in soliciting donations.

Resist the urge to place giving limits on your donors.

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