Today I would like to talk to my fellow fundraisers about limits and the concept of a “limitless mindset”.
All fundraisers have a set target, which is usually a financial target set by their line manager or agreed upon at the organisational level. What happens if we take our minds off the limit? Before you judge me, I am a huge believer in achieving KPIs and planning towards targets. The point I wish to make is this why should we limit ourselves to a target at all?
When you meet a donor for the first time, do you ask them to give you 10,000? Or do you ask for 100,000? Which one would you prefer? Think about it asking for 10,000 and 1,00,000 takes the same amount of preparation and effort from you. So why not ask for the largest amount possible, or share with potential donors your full budget and enquire how much they are willing to support/donate? No doubt you have already done your research on the donor and how much they usually give to similar causes. But giving is something very personal and the donor’s willingness could very well depend on the manner the ask is formalised, so ask wisely!
In a previous fundraising planning session, I asked my colleagues a simple question: If you meet the president of our country, assuming that he/she has the constitutional power to do literally anything that he or she wants, what will be the only ask/question you will ask him/her?
The responses I received were varied and interesting. Before you continue reading, can you think for a moment and answer the question? (By the way, I would love to hear your answers, so please feel free to send them to me!)
If I had the chance, my only ask would be ‘a license to print money’! If our job as a fundraiser is mainly to form partnerships and generate money for the cause that inspires us, what else do we need apart from a machine sitting in our office and the license to print money! While this hypothetical example is far from reality, we should always keep it in mind when forecasting or meeting donors.
Finally, I want to say that good fundraisers are actually our “license to print money” as they are the ones doing the challenging (yet exciting) work to make the world a better place!