There is a rumor out there that fundraisers don’t ask for money! WHAAAT? I have heard this from colleagues, “It’s not my job to ask for money. It is the Board’s responsibility to ask their friends and peers for money.”
I thought we are hired by nonprofit organizations to raise money, ask for money, train others to ask for money – all of the above! But whether you work for a nonprofit or association foundation – if you’re a fundraiser, you should be ready to ask for money. I get there is fundraising theory and practice.
People give to people. Typically peer-to-peer. Engage Board members, current donors, others to be your best solicitors. Fundraiser acts as catalyst. This theory works best in large, well-established nonprofits with Board members who understand their role in fundraising and/or donors who engage in the fundraising process. One of the reasons these nonprofits are well-established is because they have active Board members who fundraise!
If we, fundraisers, don’t have an active Board, then the real life kicks in. All our talents and skills as fundraisers are brought to the table to raise the money our organizations need and deserve.
The fundraiser makes the ask with or without assistance from other staff and volunteers. This maybe the norm for smaller, community based organizations. While we are empowering our Boards to understand their role in fundraising, offer training and help them see success.
Theory and practice are not mutually exclusive. A fundraiser is a fundraiser is a fundraiser. Our job is to raise money, not get caught up in who is asking for money. While the ideal is peer-to-peer solicitation, when that is not possible, we can’t sit on our hands waiting for volunteers to be ready or training them to ask for money.
When we ask for money in person, it is always a good practice to have a volunteer or other staff member with us. But we can ask for the money when the moment is right. J