What we want and how we THINK we get it is often the disconnect. The faulty connection that undoes our very best (we think) fundraising efforts.
Raising money for a worthy nonprofit is the classic “look over here”, so you can raise money “over there” conundrum.
Most think raising money is asking for it. That WILL be successful at some level. A low level. And generally, not repeatable. Asking as a transaction. This for that.
What if I said that it’s not about asking at all? You’re probably thinking “So how, then?” Or you may be thinking that I’m getting just a little too cute.
There is an ask involved. It’s just not an ask for money. That’s right.
Before the ask you must create demand in the heart and mind of the potential investor. In order to do that you must know who those are that share your vision. This is Principle 4 of The Eight Principles, “Learn & Plan”. First learn who would support you by their values and visions, then plan on how to reach them.
With this the ask becomes some form of, “Would you like to participate in this noble cause?” Instead of putting a ceiling on a philanthropic investment (read “gift”) you put a floor underneath it.
Funny how life works. The more we obsess on something, the less likely we’ll get it. What we will get is its cheap imposter.
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What are you waiting for? For someone to ask you?
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Larry C. Johnson is the Founder of The Eight Principles and the author of the award-winning book, The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising.