For some reason we live in a society where we feel we have to apologize for asking for money for a good cause. Nothing could be further from the truth. And experience has shown me that when “you put it out there” – your volunteers and your donors embrace it.
Several years ago I was working with an organization and we really wanted to “step-up” the fund-raising at our event. It had been relatively successful, but we felt it could raise significantly more. Each year we were able to generate lots of excitement and enthusiasm at the event – but we had never figured out how to parlay that energy into financial support. There was a reticence among some of our volunteers to change the event. But they all wanted to take it to the next level. So, at our pre-event planning kick-off party, we decorated everything in green, put out faux gold coins on the table, distributed pencils decorated as dollar bills and passed out monopoly money when people arrived. And then we stated our purpose was to raise money – and all our efforts were going toward that. We didn’t say we were “friend-raising” (ps – I hate that term), or thanking our donors, or cultivating new donors. We were up-front, direct, honest, and there was no confusion of why we were there – to raise money – and yes, to ASK PEOPLE TO GIVE TO YOUR CAUSE!. Committees were formed for the express purpose of raising money (not planning the menu). It worked. It set the organization on a new course – and yes, that year we tripled what we had raised in the past.
There is one indisputable truth you must remember when you are raising money. Raising money – whether it is at an event, through an appeal, or face-to-face happens for one reason and one reason only – your cause, the reason you exist, the difference you make in this world. It has touched people’s hearts. This is truly the one time in life you can say it is all about you … and mean it! So, that is the ultimate reason you are having a fund-raising event, or any other fund-raising effort. Because you make our world a better place to live – and you need to raise the money to do that. So go ahead, – ask unabashedly.
PS – If you would like to learn more about asking unabashedly at your next event click here to check out my Fundraising EventBox.