Asking for a Donation, or a Date?

Some events in life are simply unforgettable, and a good majority of them have to do with firsts. There’s your first speeding ticket, your first concert, your first lost tooth–pretty much everything except for your first birthday.

And then, of course, who could forget the first date, first kiss, or first breakup–all immortalized in our memories, and repetitively lived in each relationship. You would think that we become professionals at navigating these “firsts,” and yet they aren’t quite like riding a bike: every person, and every relationship, brings an entirely new set of relational rules. That newness, it can often create one outstanding emotion: anxiety.

Like a school kid along the wall of a high school dance, you suffer from dreadful anxiety at the idea of THE ASK. You’re nervous, afraid of rejection, and the wall seems so comfortable! But you have goals and ambitions too, like maybe to be the hottest new couple to be going steady. Cultivating a donor just seems to take you back.

This all leads to the overwhelming question: how can you overcome these nerves? Let’s face it. We’d be comfortable standing along the wall for the duration of our nonprofit careers. But we care about the causes we serve, and ambivalence simply isn’t an option.

Here at PiP, we have a few short words of advice: if you want to lose YOUR anxiety, then lose YOURself. Now, we don’t mean that in the unhealthy–so tied to your cause you lose a sense of independence–kind of way; we mean that in the healthy–think of others and there’s no time to think of your bad emotions–kind of way. It’s very easy. If you aren’t thinking of yourself, where would being nervous fit into your cognitive map?

And the good news? Asking donors for their support is beneficial to them! It would be obvious to say that we love our causes, but it isn’t just a nonprofit and the people who they help that gain from donations: we don’t just have to think of our own priorities. That sense of elation; that warm feeling of doing good; that understanding that you’re making a difference in the lives of other human beings; that joy that springs from knowing you’ve joined in on accomplishing something you can be proud of. These are the things that you deny the donor when you are too afraid to ask.

So help us all to celebrate the greatest elements of humanity. Move away from the wall and ask. Not only to benefit the cause that you love, but to benefit the donors who enable you to make the needed difference. Here at PiP, we’ve seen the breathtaking difference that can be made from the relationships built between donors and nonprofit organizations. Be the hottest new couple to go steady.

Feb, 25, 2014

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