Fundraising requires you to ask for donations for your nonprofit. There’s no way around it.
We had a call today from a guy who literally said “I got my 501c3. When will the donations start coming in?”
I guess he thought it was a magic pill. (It’s not, just so you know.)
You must ASK for what you need.
You must ASK for money.
Yet lots of people resist it, even those who have founded nonprofits or are employed by them.
Why is that?
My theory is because it’s uncomfortable.
In short, we’re not used to it.
Lots of us grow up thinking we have to do things ourselves.
We’re taught “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”
Asking for help seems like a weakness somehow.
But the problem is that you can’t fund your big vision for your nonprofit by yourself (unless you’re independently wealthy). You need others to help you fund it.
That means you have to ask for donations for your nonprofit.
I bet you get that intellectually, but something still feels resistant inside.
Here’s a reframe that I shared with a client recently and it really helped her:
When you don’t ask for help, you deny someone the chance to experience the joy of giving.
She hadn’t thought about it that way before.
People love to help others. Think about your own experience. When was the last time someone asked you for help – maybe moving or a special project.
Heck, in the old days, neighbors used to gather round and help build barns.
Why? Because it was the right thing to do and they wanted to help.
The real reason is because it feels good. Helping someone else makes us feel good.
What we’re talking about here is a change in behavior. Chances are good that if you aren’t willing to ask for donations, you probably aren’t asking for help in other areas of your life either.
Want to change that? (You really should if you want to learn to fully fund your nonprofit!)
Take it in baby steps.
Ask for a simple little thing, like “Would you pass the salt, please?” That’s an easy way to start. Then ask for something bigger like “Would you be a dear and gather up the trash in the house?” The more you do it, the easier it will get.
And you’ll be amazed at how asking for help for your nonprofit will get easier too.
Same principles apply – start by asking for a small thing first, then work your way up. Each time, remember that most people really like helping others.