It’s not about the money. I’m not sure how to make it more clear than that, but here’s a video where I share more about what that means for nonprofits trying to raise money.
In case you’re like me and prefer to read something instead, here’s the transcript:
Asking for money can feel like a really scary thing. Let’s face it, taboos exist around talking about money, let alone asking for it. But at some point, if we want our organizations to have the money to operate effectively, we need to address asking.
The core of this revolves around recognizing what it is we’re doing – and it’s not asking for money. I believe that each of us was born with an innate desire to change and improve the world around us. But for many people, that desire gets lost as we grow up, go to college, get a job, become responsible adults. When we’re asking for a gift, we’re not asking for money, we’re inviting our donors to rekindle that desire to impact the world, and the hope that they can do so. And then we’re inviting them to become partners in our ministry. —
I’ll get back to that in a minute, but for now let’s take a step back and take a look at what we’ll call the stages of asking for a gift. 45% of the activity related to asking for a gift is cultivation. 10% is asking and then an additional 45% is basically saying thanks. Only 10% of asking for a gift actually involves asking. —
Let’s take a look at what cultivation is all about. The general idea of cultivation is that we’re getting to know our potential donor better. But the purpose at this point is not to ask for money, it’s to identify if this particular person or group is interested in the mission of our organization.
It’s not about the money – it’s about the mission.
You may realize that in your day to day work you’re already engaging in cultivation, you just didn’t realize that it was part of the fundraising process. This week, start thinking of people who have already indicated interest in your mission. Your next step will be identifying next steps, but that’s the subject for another training.