Are you afraid to ask for money?

It might sound like a silly question. How can a professional fundraiser be afraid to ask for money? It’s their job.

Yet, time and time I again I see professional fundraisers and even executive directors avoid asking for money, at all costs and at the detriment of their own nonprofit.

That’s because asking for money is about more than seeking out a donation. It is wrapped up in self worth, tied around self-confidence, and topped with a big bow called your money story.

Money Tree-Sandy Rees, fundraising coach

Your Money Story and Fundraising

Everyone has a money story. It could go something like this:

Money is evil, therefore people that have money are no good.

Or maybe, Rich people are greedy so they would never give money to little ole’ me.

Or how about, I don’t want to ask people for money because I don’t want them to feel bad if they can’t give.

Or my favorite, I know they won’t give, so I don’t need to ask.

Oh, and the most popular one, I don’t want to be turned down.

Do any of those sound familiar? They seem kinda silly, don’t they?

Here’s the thing. Until you understand your money story, you will never be comfortable asking for money.

So, my challenge to you, is this:

Write down every single excuse you use to not ask someone for a donation.

Now, come up with three (3) counter answers for each one. It might look something like this:

STORY/EXCUSE: Rich people are greedy so they would never give money to me.

COUNTER: 1. Not all rich people are greedy. Most wealthy people love to give back to their community and would be happy to donate to a cause close to their heart.

2. Not everyone that donates to your nonprofit is rich (that blows this excuse out of the water).

3. How will you know if they won’t give you money unless you ask (you are assuming they won’t give).

Now, check in to see how you feel when you think about picking up the phone to make that next ask.

It is vital to change you money story from one that reacts to money in fear and scarcity to one that believes money is easy and abundant.

  1. Sandy – you totally hit the nail on the head for so many fundraisers! There’s a lot of taboo and discomfort in our society when it comes to talking about money. I think it’s wonderful that you’re starting this conversation and hopefully it will give more people the courage to let go of their fear. We have to let our own story go and focus on the donor.

    • Amazing how fundraisers, who make a living dealing with money, have such a hard time talking about money. I’m happy to start the conversation, but it’s going to take all of us rewriting our money story in order to create a real shift in the industry.

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