It’s event season and you know what that means. Invitations galore. Some event invites offer free admission with the expectation to donate. Other invitations offer set ticket costs.
During this busy event season, I feel fortunate to be able to attend a lot of national events with the intention to raise some much-needed money to support the critical missions of our community organizations.
But I want to tell you a story about something I saw so that it does not happen at your event.
At one of fundraising events that I attended; I observed the ask fail.
Here’s the setting…
Like most fundraising events, the room was filled with eager supporters. Many were loyal donors that were already invested in the mission. And many attendees were new individuals just learning about the organization. Likely invited by a loyal donor and this was their first introduction to the mission by their friend.
The program seemed to be going flawlessly. The speakers were inspirational. The video told the story of the services provided, the clients served, and the heart strings tugged. It showed the impact of the dollars to the clients that receive the services by the organization. And then…at the very last of the event, someone from the organization stood up on stage, took hold of the podium and made the ask.
It was a complete nosedive!
My heart sunk.
The person that made the ask began to fumble over their words. They did not seem prepared. And certainly, did not command a stage with confidence.
Although reading from a script, they decided to go off script. It was at that moment that they devalued the mighty moment.
They inserted their own money story and limitations on the audience when they said, “I know that I am asking a lot of you and that is a lot of money, so if you can’t donate at this level, we understand and hope that you can donate at another level.”
That’s when my eyes popped out of my head. My jaw dropped and I heard the room start to rustle.
The ask failed in that moment. The audience was lost. The goal was not met.
The moment your personal money story takes over you block and devalue the potential of others.
Not everyone is comfortable asking people for money. Not everyone is confident, poised, and powerful inviting others to make a transformational gift to continue the critical mission of your nonprofit.
Don’t make this same mistake.
I want to make your ask.
I want to be your ask ambassador and stand in confidence for you, your mission, and take ownership of the ask to help you! Not hurt you.