Category Archives: The Ask
“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your mind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!
When I first started in development, I was a bit cowed when dealing with people of means. I always made enough to get by, but for some reason I thought that affluent people were otherworldly, that I somehow couldn’t communicate with them the same way that I could with those that I considered to be my peers. Even when I became more used to it, I still felt like I had to be a chameleon and change my personality to accommodate those to whom I was communicating.
Some sandwiches and a bag of chips changed my outlook on things. I was hosting the first meeting of our planning study task force for our capital campaign, and I had mentioned that lunch would be available. I bought a variety of sandwiches, chips and soda and waited for our guests to arrive. As they showed up in their suits and wool coats, stockings and heels, they began to mingle and get settled.
About halfway through the meeting, while I advanced slides for one of our other presenters, I looked around the room and noticed that everyone was eating sandwiches and chips. This shouldn’t have been a surprise, but I had convinced myself that these otherwordly beings would somehow have transformed their sandwiches and chips into something tidier, or that fancy silverware would have come out of their coat pockets. But there they were, with paper plates and napkins, drinking soda from cans, and I made an important realization: they were just like me in some ways.
I know I have mentioned Asking Matters previously (check them out; I love their site and their ideas). Co-founder Andrea Kihlstedt has written a great article on how to be yourself as a fundraiser. Let me know what you think. If you have any stories about your own donor a-ha! moments, I’d love to hear those, too!
Ugh, just back from Cinefest, and too pooped to peep. The more efficient, “planny” side of me is currently teasing the flibberdegibbet part of me rather mercilessly with reminders that I could have—and should have—written this one in advance. Part of me wants to cop out in a big way. However, because this is The Daily Kylie, I will borrow from the gurus of our industry and the world at large to leave you with some inspirational quotes on this Sunday evening.
- Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving. – Hank Rosso
- Donors don’t give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe. – G.T. Smith
- In good times and bad, we know that people give because you meet needs, not because you have needs. – Kay Sprinkel Grace
- Fundraising requires both optimism and realism. Without the first, few if any gift solicitation efforts would be made. Without the second, few if any would succeed. – Howard L. Jones
- We should never forget that no Fundraising effort ever succeeds unless one person asks another person for money. – Andrew D. Parker Jr.
- Fundraising is not an event; it is a process. – Edgar D. Powell
- Fundraising opportunities will continue to exist throughout the next century. Those opportunities will equal or exceed all current experience or presently held future expectations. – Edgar D. Powell
- Fundraising is not a right — it is a privilege and we must always honor it as such. – Henry A. Rosso
- When we recognize that a better word for Fundraising is “friend raising,” we open limitless doors to creativity in support of our causes. – Sue Vineyard
- Appreciation can make a day–even change a life, Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. – Margaret Cousins
- Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. – Gladys Browyn Stern
If you have any quotes that you love and would like to share, please do. Have a great week!
I won’t lie. Face-to-face fundraising can be scary at first. I am an introvert, and I avoided asking people for a long time, preferring instead to write grants and fill out paperwork and send appeal letters. But, as the cloying cliche goes, practice makes perfect. And thus it was with me.
It took me a long time to realize what my problem was. I knew lots of people who asked, and had been asking for years. They were dynamic, they were successful—what was my problem? With a little introspection, I analyzed my situation and discovered the culprit:
I have a different personality type than the other askers I knew.
Most of them were outgoing, gregarious, vibrant and confident. On the contrary, I am a relatively quiet person, who can seem bubbly amongst people I know well, or when I am “fak(ing) it until I make it.” I am at my best among my colleagues, or among people who put forth the vibe of being even more scared or inexperienced than I am. But I am also a person who needs a ton of information to act and make the right decision. I often decided based on instinct, but my instincts are formed by learning as much as I can about a topic before presenting it.