It’s no doubt that it can be uncomfortable to ask people for money – even when it’s for a good cause.
No matter how long you’ve been raising donations for non-profits, that discomfort never truly goes away. In fact, we’re willing to bet that your top fundraiser still feels uncomfortable asking donors for money.
Keep reading to learn how top fundraisers deal with the discomfort of asking for donations and raising money for their cause.
Get Comfortable with Feeling Uncomfortable
Most performers get stage fright at some point in their careers. That stage fright doesn’t go away even when they are famous. So, how do they prevent that discomfort from derailing their careers?
They get comfortable with the feeling of discomfort.
The same thing goes for working out. Everybody would rather stay in bed than get up and go to the gym. People who work out consistently are comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
In both cases, the ultimate payoff is worth the short-term discomfort. That mindset shift is what makes it easier to push through the discomfort.
The same goes for fundraising. Any discomfort about asking for donations is worth the impact to your cause. Framing it as a minute of discomfort for the purpose of your cause can help make it easier to move past that discomfort.
Make it Slightly More Comfortable
Another thing we see top fundraisers do when asking for donations is to find ways to make the ask slightly more comfortable. Here’s how we suggest doing that:
First, focus the majority of the ask around talking about the mission. This is far more comfortable territory because, presumably, you are passionate about the mission and enjoy talking about the good that your non-profit does.
Focusing on the mission is the most effective way to ask for donations. It helps the donor to build an emotional connection with your cause. You can even start linking the good your non-profit organization can do with a monetary sum. For example, “every $1,000 we raise allows us to send another kid to camp.
Secondly, instead of asking people for money, you can invite them to participate. This helps it feel less like you’re asking them for money and, therefore, makes it less uncomfortable.
By framing the ask in this way, it also means that if you receive a no, it is no longer a personal rejection. It is simply the donor declining your offer to participate.
Add to Your Discomfort
If you’re going to feel uncomfortable asking for money, you might as well ask for a lot of money. It is always better to ask for too high of a number than too low of a number.
There is nothing worse than hearing from a donor that they would’ve happily given $50,000 but gave $20,000 because that’s what you asked them for.
In our experience, if your ask is too high, then the donor will simply laugh and suggest a number that matches their budget.
Schedule Your Asks so They Are Unavoidable
It is common to avoid things that are uncomfortable. Scheduling your asks into your calendar as meetings or scheduled phone calls makes it less likely that you will avoid your asks. You have it in your calendar; your donors are expecting your call.
By scheduling your asks, your donors are also expecting an ask. If your donor has accepted a meeting with your non-profit, they are expecting to be asked for money. They are showing you that they are prepared to give. Knowing that makes it a lot easier to ask for donations.
Asking for donations does not get any easier – ask anyone who works in a non-profit. The above 4 tips can make dealing with the discomfort of asking for donations easier.
These tips come from our weekly podcast. Click to listen for more tips and stories from successful non-profits.
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