You know that thing that happens to you when you know it's time to bring up money in a donor conversation? That moment when you know you have to say it or you'll miss your chance or chicken out?
Your heart races, your face gets hot and you start to do that zoning in thing where all you hear is what’s in your head.
You are not alone!
After more than a decade of asking for money, this still happens to me.
It also happens to Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise, an amazing organization that has built 400 schools in Guatemala, Ghana and Laos and given tens of thousands of kids access to education.
In Adam’s fantastic book, The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, he has an entire chapter dedicated to his fear of fundraising. It’s called Vulnerability is Vital.
Adam describes his first ask of a six-figure commitment from a potential donor. He writes, “My face was still but my chest was pounding.”
Are you? Going to ask today? It not, what do you need to learn to get there?
One of three things, friends: timing, amount, purpose. Ideally in that order.
Don’t get us wrong! Of course you want to know your donor. Rapport matters, connection matters, respect matters – a lot.
We’re not suggesting you should make an ask upon first meeting (though honestly, sometimes you should!).
But you absolutely should, must – please, we are begging you – be asking yourself, before every meeting, “Am I going to ask...