What are we all so afraid of?

Have you ever noticed that nonprofits go out of their way not to ask for money directly?

We have bake sales.

We have silent auctions.

We have these big ole benefits where they hope ticket sales and sponsors cover the cost of the events.

We write grants (or pay people like me to write them).

But we find it very difficult to go to someone and say, “Give me your money.”

I guess I  would find it very difficult to go to someone and say, “Give me your money” unless I had a compelling (and illegal!) reason for them to do so…

But, really, nonprofits DO have a compelling reason for people to give them money. They are (often) doing something really good for somebody or something. So, why shouldn’t people participate by donating their funds?

I recently posed this question to someone who suggested that people are not comfortable asking others to part with their money, even for a good cause.

Hm. So, how do we overcome that fear?

Comments, anyone?

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5 Responses to What are we all so afraid of?

  1. Jeni Lamm says:

    For me, it is because I usually do not like to be asked for money myself. I do not want to put people on the spot, out of respect for them, even though I truly believe in my cause.

  2. Lorraine K says:

    That’s a good point (not liking to be asked for money). When people ask, when is it most uncomfortable (what do they do) and when is it most comfortable (what’s the difference)?

    • Jeni Lamm says:

      It is most uncomfortable for me when I am asked faced to face and one on one. I’m sure that’s the most effective way, too, if you already have relationship with the person doing the ask. However, I have trouble doing that. I like to get a letter or go to a group event and hear their story.

  3. Anne Pharr says:

    I guess I don’t really like to ask people for money because, like the earlier poster said, I don’t want to put people on the spot. Plus, there are just so many good causes out there . . . . I know I struggle knowing which groups to support and which to leave to others. I get weary, sometimes, from having to make that decision often. I don’t want to put others in that same position.

  4. Virginia J. Pillsbury says:

    I volunteer for a non-profit, The American Diabetes Association, because my daughter has type 1 diabetes. That in itself makes it easier for me to ask people to donate. I think that also makes it harder for people to say no to me or to her! Each year she raises money for the walk – each year she makes it easy by writing a personal and passionate letter, including a SASE, and following up with a thank you note.
    I think that people like to know exactly where the money is going and that helps with the fear. I think that people like to know that their money is truly helping someone who is sick or hurting and that also helps with the fear.
    I find it most comfortable to give when there is a compelling story that comes with the plea. I find it most uncomfortable to give when I get a random phone call or a person in front of a grocery store. I no longer feel too guilty about telling the phone caller, no thanks. I still feel guilty in front of the grocery store and will give a nominal amount – if it is a group I believe in. However I always am glad to give to the Salvation Army.
    Not sure if I’ve answered the question!

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