“I can’t get any support,” Ann moaned as she flopped on the couch in my office.
“If you are looking for support,” I suggested, “your greatest support is gratitude.”
These words tumbled out of my mouth because I have made this statement to hundreds of people who are attempting to raise money.
The principle comes from ancient India.
But Ann wasn’t convinced. So, I asked her to do an exercise that has worked wonders for hundreds of people that I have worked with who are trying to raise money.
Ann ‘s situation was that she had agreed to chair a fundraising dinner and now wished she had never accepted the position. She was completely discouraged.
The exercise took only a few minutes, yet, when we were finished, everything had changed. Ann had recaptured her enthusiasm and both of us were energized.
We then had a brief discussion about fundraising and Ann left.
One month later, the event was a great success. Ann told me the exercise we did at my office was the turning point.
You can use the same exercise when you get discouraged while you are trying to raise money.
Here’s the exercise:
- Make a list of five people you are grateful to.
- Call each one and express your appreciation.
The exercise takes very little time. You can rarely reach anyone in person, so it is mainly a matter of leaving texts and voice mail messages.
For Ann and me, it took less than fifteen minutes. She called five people and I called five.
When we were finished, nothing had changed and yet everything had changed. Ann was no longer feeling unsupported. She was full of enthusiasm — for the organization, the people she had called and the fundraising.
The exercise refocused her attention. She was able to remember why she had accepted the position in the first place. This attitude made it possible for her to pass on her enthusiasm to others and gain the support she was seeking.
One of the people on my list to call was Burt. He had built a beautiful bookcase for the organization and every time I looked at it, I thought of him. So I gave him a call, leaving a message saying, “You put so much love into that bookcase. I want you to know I appreciate it.”
Two weeks later, Burt’s girlfriend told me, “He saved the message and re-plays it everyday.”
Everyone wants to be appreciated.
After I saw how energized Ann became when we called people to express our appreciation, I started adding another list to my daily “To Do” list.
Now I write down what I have to do and next to it I make a “To Thank” list. I jot down the names of five people who I appreciate and then I call them. This gives me lots of energy to start my “To Do’s.”
YOU are INVITED to my LinkedIn Event “Startup Fundraising is easier than you think.” Dec. 13, 2023.
You will learn 3 principles of fundraising, learn how to apply them to your specific situation and then we’ll have a discussion.
Here’s the zoom link to this free event: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89736234396
Don’t miss it!
Thanks, Shar McBee