More On Raising Money

Believe me I had doubts about my ability to succeed. You will ask, "How in the world can I raise so much money"? You will ask, "What if I can't raise the money? Can I back out of this?" When it comes to issues of money you are hitting deep into the spirit and psyche.

What do you envision being successful is? Does money have any part in that vision of success? If today money plays a big factor in your life (if you need to work to make money for a living then it does), then to become successful you must learn the skill of becoming greater than your money. You must learn to let go of money and at the same time believe that you are deserving of the money you want. When you try to raise $4500 you must be willing to ask some strangers to donate on your behalf. It's true that partly they will be donating because they know someone who has a type of Cancer. However, the biggest reason they will decide to give or not is because of you. If can sell your worth, they will give generously. Members of you family will already know your worth so you have little to prove anything to them. But unless your family is willing to foot the entire sum, you will have to reach out to friends, acquaintances and even strangers. The less familiar you are with someone, the greater the test on your self-confidence. If you do not feel worth it, then you will sabotage yourself. You will feel the urge to not even ask for a donation because you'll feel embarrassed to ask, because you assume you will get a "no" as an answer.

The big key to successfully sell yourself is overcoming your fear of rejection. It's overcoming the fear of getting a "no" that's the character builder. I stress that when you ask for money and you get a "no" it is only a "no". It is not a rejection, it is not a statement about you, it is just a "no". It only becomes a rejection if you let your mind think about it and turn it into a rejection. I'm 33 years old and have been working for DuPont for over 10 years and I had to swallow some pride when I went door-to-door in my old neighborhood to ask for money. I spent nearly 5 hours walking from house to house and eventually collected $200, with most people either saying no or giving me a $5 check. At times I felt like a 12-year-old selling hoagies to raise money for my school instead of a grown man. It's more challenging to go door-to-door as a grown male, because people are cautious about the likelihood that you might attack them. Going door-to-door and asking for a donation is a very humbling and educational experience. It makes you think about how generous people are and how generous you are. Most likely you'll don't need to resort to going to door-to-door like I did to raise the money.

I'd tried all different strategies of raising the money, including selling T-shirts. I've read about people teaming together to sell baked goods or host dinners. In the end I found that the most effective way to raise money is to ask for a donation. You'll generally be more successful spending several hours asking for money from strangers, than spending several hours organizing a fund raiser and having to spend money covering costs. It takes more guts to ask for money outright, then to sell something. But in the end you'll find that people are more likely to shy away from buying something from you then to make a straight donation to fight Leukemia.
My most effective strategy was to just ask everyone, without any judgment or expectations. Never develop expectations of who will give you more money or less money. A wealthy looking individual who knows you very well may give you small change. A total stranger who doesn't appear that well off may give you $100. On another day that same total stranger might give you nothing and that wealthy looking individual may give you $500. The other learning I picked up was much as possible try asking one-on-one. Mass mailing or talking to a group of people at once were ineffective as it's easy for people in a group to pretend to say yes when they really mean no; people are often afraid to say "no" to your face. When you ask face to face, you are making a very powerful sales pitch by simply being there. You get an opportunity to socialize a little and most importantly you get a clear cut "yes" or "no" answer. If it's a "no" then you don't have to ask the again and can move on. If it's a "yes" then you can either collect money immediately or gather information so that you can collect money at a later time.

But success with money is not just about having the guts to sell you. True success also involves your ability to give money? It will be difficult for you to expect people to be generous, if you cannot see yourself being generous in the shoes of those you are asking. You must be generous yourself to see others being generous to you. If you aren't then you will doubt yourself when you present yourself to others and that doubt will show through. So I ask you how generous could you be to yourself? How about $4500!

By signing on with TNT, you must acknowledge the possibility that you will have to pay for some of you fund raising yourself. If you live in fear of that possibility then it will put a great deal of stress on you and it will hinder your success in fund raising. If you can find ways to think about the greatness of your heart in being willing to make a $4500 donation to help someone else, then it changes the picture. Pretend that you've already paid $4500, it's a done deal, yes it hurts, but now it's in the past. Then each donation you do get becomes a gift. Each donation then is a gift reimbursing you for every dollar you already gave. You start to feel so grateful about the generosity of those who do give. The side effect is that when you do ask people for money you take on the attitude that you are there to talk about how excited you are to run this marathon and who you're helping. Although you do ask for a donation, you have no problem about getting a "no" and are just happy to talk to people. That attitude puts people at ease and is most likely to open their hearts to give.

I propose that you will become successful the moment you can start to say so what about $4500 even when $4500 sounds like a lot of money. Ultimately, the most successful people in life are risk takers. They are willing to deal with the consequence of falling, picking themselves up and trying again. They are willing to put aside their egos. In the same act of developing your potential to be generous you will also develop the courage to take risks. You will exercise the skills that make up a genuine, gracious, patient, confident, secure, loving, vibrant and wealthy individual.