Do It Afraid!

By Michelle Cramer of member firm Cramer & Associates

How often do you hear from a Board member or volunteer, “I don’t like to fundraise.”  What they are really saying is “I’m afraid to ask for money.”  Very often we are held back from taking action in our lives by our fears, our false expectations or by what ‘may’ happen if we launch out and do something new, different, risky, uncharacteristic and potentially life changing.

My personal mantra and what I tell my clients, my staff, friends and even my three daughters is Do It Afraid!

In recent years, industry experts have been telling the nonprofit world to take this time to get their house in order, re-group and that the philanthropic sector will be back into swing again with donors giving again in 3-4 years.  The economic crisis began to hit in 2008 – it’s now 2011.  Now is the time to go out there, be bold and Do It Afraid!

Just recently, a client of ours visited with a lead campaign donor only eight months after he had made a first time gift of $1M to the organization.  The Executive Director “boldly asked” for a gift of $800K that would then be matched dollar for dollar by a foundation. Yes, I did say an additional $800 K!  Now that you have gasped, take a deep breath and read on. The donor said, “I will give it serious consideration. We believe in what you do and if our gift will leverage another $800 K, then I think we should find a way to make it happen.”  The Executive Director saw a window of opportunity and “Did It Afraid!”  Oh, and yes, the donor did make the $800k commitment.

If you are a nonprofit organization and your dream is to have someone in particular serve on your Board – Call them!  Ask them to come for a tour or meet for coffee or lunch to ‘pick their brain’ about a certain program.  Stop holding back!

Ok, fellow consultants, this one is for you.  If you’re nervous about calling a prospective client – pick up the phone and Do it Afraid!  The worse that can happen is they will either tell you they are not available or they already have counsel.

Bottom line; stop holding yourself and your organization back from success by being afraid to take action.  If you will try to do just one thing everyday that might be out of your comfort zone, not only will you see big results within your organization, but also in you personally!   Make the decision today to Do It Afraid!

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