As a society, we agreed that we were going to get all of the turmoil (pandemics, civil rights protests, elections, etc.) out of the way in 2020, right? Well, sorta’… It turns out that we’re still in some fairly choppy waters, fundraising-wise.
And yet, some things never change. Uncertainty, regardless of the cause, creates some very predictable “rules” for fundraising. These rules are not good things, and they are often driven by underlying psychological forces. How many times has a board member told you that now is not the time to be asking for money? Or your CEO wonders aloud if we should hold-off on asking for that lifetime gift? How many times have you hesitated before picking up the phone to call a donor? These are psychological responses that become rules. Don’t ask. Not today. I don’t want to bother anybody.
You are not alone. These are challenging times for society, and they can be brutal times for how we feel about fundraising. Understanding our brain and how it reacts to challenges can allow us to reconsider and break free of these fear-based rules. We can decide, to quote Phil, Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day: “I'm not going to live by their rules anymore.”
Alan Hutson, CFRE, The Monument Group
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