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Third Shot of Red Bull: The Fundraising Board

We discussed shaking up the board meetings in a March, 2010 post: tapping energy by breaking the routine. We discussed energizing board members in a June post about urgency of the mission. This time we focus on getting board members comfortable asking for donations for the nonprofit they are committed to.
What is it about the “Fear of Fundraising”?
Members of the board have lots of reasons why they’re uncomfortable, unwilling to ask another person for a gift.
We need to hear the objection and work to overcome it.
I use Jerold Panas’ easy-to-digest book, Asking: A 59-Minute Guide to Everything Board Members Must Know to Secure the Gift. In Chapter 19, Mr. Panas talks about Obstacles as “what you see when you take your eyes off the objective.”
Those of us comfortable with asking need to explore the apprehensiveness, discomfort, acid indigestion of the wavering board colleague.
In my view, there’s nothing like setting an example to help the reluctant ones overcome their concerns. So, start with the folks who are comfortable.
And for those not quite ready yet to “ask,” let’s get them a “thanking” experience. Call or meet with a donor who needs a nice thank you for a generous gift. And let’s hear what’s behind this generosity. We should work to have the uneasy ones get experience hearing from donors, hearing from board members who are comfortable as askers, then nudging them to accompany an experienced asker on a call to get the gift. See what it’s like.
What does this mean for you? It means getting a shot of energy…some Red Bull for the soul. An elixer like a good story about how a staff member or a volunteer brought the mission of this nonprofit into reality for an individual or a family.
There’s nothing like helping a connection happen to get a person moving on the right track. The Aha moment that spurs the person to Action by Asking.
Want to talk about putting these thoughts into action? I’m just an e-mail ( or phone call (781-334-4915) away.

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