The Everyman Fear: How to Overcome the Fear and Embrace Asking for Money
This paradigm — this manner of thinking — of fundraising provides for sustainability and expandability precisely because it is built upon long-term renewal of donors whose stake in the organization or cause, personal and financial, grows over time. Fundraising costs plummet as the cost of acquiring a donor for the first time is very high. Those organizations that depend upon a steady influx of new supporters to make gifts discover that their costs for doing so consume much of what is given.
I call this approach the "triple win." The organization "wins" as its outreach is sustained and expanded at the lowest possible financial cost. The fundraiser "wins" by being successful in procuring essential resources for an organization he or she believes in. And last, and most important, the donor "wins" through the opportunity to fulfill personal values — something money alone will not buy.
What could be more empowering than offering people the opportunity to fulfill what is closest and dearest to them? Such is certainly not the stuff for anxiety or fear. If you've made your own investment — you've put skin in the game — you're demonstrating to any and all whom you approach that you share a common bond, a common vision with them.
So, when you're approached to fundraise for your favorite cause or organization, there's no need to cringe and duck. The key is to shape the method and approach to attitudes that are built upon mutual benefit and personal investment. You'll even make some new friends.
Larry C. Johnson, CFRE, is an internationally recognized philanthropy coach and speaker, and author of "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising" and the Adopting the Right Paradigm blog.
An internationally recognized philanthropy and fundraising thought leader, Larry C. Johnson trains the staff and volunteers of worthy causes to achieve real impact through the creation of reliable, growing revenue streams. He emphasizes principles before methods as the key to long-lasting success. He stresses the simple, the practical and the joyful.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles, the premier brand for educational products and services in relational fundraising and philanthropy. The Eight Principles provides digital education, live workshops and structured coaching to nonprofit organizations.
Author of the award-winning book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising," AFP named Larry Outstanding Development Executive in 2010. The Wall Street Business Network ranks him in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the USA. Larry is a graduate of Yale University. Larry speaks widely and serves on numerous nonprofit and corporate boards, including The Philanthropy Council of The Carter Center, the philanthropy of the 39th President of the U.S.