Fundraising Fears Are Obvious
Fears can stop your fundraising OR inspire you to mobilize your inner peaceful fundraising Warrior. In our last fundraising post, we looked at the three fundraising fears. We promised we would explore three antidotes to them. This is the first antidote.
It’s important to note that if you read the post on fundraising fears, you know just about everything you need to know to diagnose yourself and others. Significantly, the three described in the post are all there are, in my experience.
It is a fact that mapping your fears means you can deal with them.
Map Your Terror
This post helps you deal specifically with your terror of fundraising. It’s when you get a sheer terror reaction at the thought of fundraising. This terror reduces you to a feeling of powerlessness. It’s important to note that our metaphor for powerlessness as well as for innocence is the infant. It’s also noteworthy that many times, we are wounded around money in our early childhood and we carry these wounds into older childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Early childhood money terror in my experience comes from three scenarios revolving around financial insecurity in which
- you grew up poor and suffered deprivation;
- you grew up wealthy and your family “lost it all”
- the grown-ups in your life behaved crazily around money, even though you never wanted for anything you actually needed.
Be Guided by the Peaceful Map, Not the Terror Map
Terror as a map takes you to more terror! Terror is a poor guide to money. Imagine fundraising even though you are terrified. Many people do! This terror begins to permeate the whole endeavor of fundraising. This must stop. We have to redraw the map and go where peace, not terror, leads.
Your Peaceful Fundraising Warrior
The map to use is found by noticing your already-existing Warrior qualities. The Warrior is one of the three healthy money “archetypes.” What I find most effective as a certified moneycoach is strengthening your healthy types rather than doing anything to weaken already weak archetypes. (Everyone has positive money traits. If you don’t believe me, read this post.) The weak types we may have just want to be taken care of. If we strengthen what is strong in us, it takes care of what is weak. You could say the weakness takes care of itself!
The Warrior is in Charge
First of all, you are an adult. You can’t quite remember what this means, so let me remind you: you have legal sovereignty. You are responsible for your actions and the law recognizes you as in charge of yourself. This is not true of children. Our society mirrors to you that you are a powerful, sovereign, responsible being. This mirroring can be dulled by racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of judgement about your very being–by people who don’t know your very being! But the fact is that we do have a bias toward adults being powerful in our culture and this works in your favor when you do something as powerful as asking other adults for money.
The Warrior is Powerful
Second, let’s look more closely as how and why fundraising is powerful. Fundraising assumes you know you don’t have it all, don’t want to have it all–you want to ask other people for support. Is this a weakness, needing other people? Hardly! In the nonprofit sector it is a clear strength to need other people. It’s how we build strong organizations. When my nonprofit clients tell me they have just a few wealthy donors, I consider them highly unstable, because in fact they are. They could topple over at any time. They are in immediate need of putting a healthy base of small and medium-sized donors under the tip of that pyramid so it has a base.
Money is totally (a form of) power. Let’s not deny it! Let’s work it!
As a result, fundraising mobilizes the power you have to invite others to share power.
The Warrior “Gets” Money
Like so much of what I write, this is a play on words. Obviously, as a fundraiser, you receive money.
I also mean that adults “get” money. We understand the ways it works, and doesn’t work. This doesn’t mean we never behave crazily around it. Money is the realm of adults. The same is true of talking about money. Consequently, asking for money is the realm of adults. (That’s why it’s so inspiring when young people take it on.) Asking for money is what you do when you are fundraising, regardless of whether you are crowdfunding or doing major donor solicitation or writing a direct email appeal. (If you want help with any of these, ask us.)
The Peaceful Fundraising Warrior Lets the Adult Handle Fundraising
Therefore the start of a solution to terror of fundraising is to stay “in” your adult self for as much of the time as you can. It is vital to let your adult self do your prep for your ask and your ask itself; help you handle your response to your donors’ response to your ask; help you word your thank-yous; and evaluate your success when your fundraising has come to an end for the moment.
It is clear that setting good boundaries around your time, energy, and commitments is definitely a Warrior quality.
You might therefore feel that developing Warrior qualities will help you with all the money in your life, as well as your fundraising. You’d be right. Because of this, if you want to learn more, here’s another post you can read about the Warrior, and for more where that came from, contact us.