So you’ve committed to raising money for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, but you’re worried that your friends and family will say no when you ask them for donations. In Part 1 of this post, we shared some tips for how to deal with this fear on your way to fundraising success, and today, we offer a few more thoughts.
Yesterday’s last tip urged you to send your fundraising letter out to every person you have an email address for. Every single one. Here’s why…
Don’t Make Someone’s Decision for Them – In looking down your list of potential donors, you may feel certain that some people on that list will, without a doubt, say no to your donation request. Maybe they’ve said no in the past, maybe you’re aware that their personal financial situation is precarious, maybe you don’t know them very well and therefore assume that they won’t be invested in supporting you. Stop it!
It’s impossible for you to know everything going on in another person’s life (just as it’s impossible for them to fully know your life), and that’s also true about knowing every person’s connection to breast cancer. I’ve gotten some very generous donations over the years from really unexpected sources—one of my husband’s co-workers whose wife was battling breast cancer for the third time; a friend of my mom’s who had lost her mom to the disease; another parent at my daughter’s school who was a survivor herself. These were all people who I didn’t know very well and whose lives, I learned, were affected by breast cancer in ways that I could never see on the surface. If I had assumed that I knew their answer would be no, I would have missed out on those donations, and they would have missed out on the chance to honor their loved ones in such a meaningful way.
Arm Yourself With the Facts – Sometimes donors may be reluctant to give because they don’t fully understand or embrace the mission you’re working toward. Prepare yourself for these hesitant donors by having some facts at the ready. The 3-Day Fact Sheet offers details about the money raised by the 3-Day, and the Susan G. Komen® website has detailed financial information available to anyone who’s looking for it. Additionally, there are independent “watchdog” sites, such as Charity Navigator or BBB Wise Giving Alliance, which provide nonpartisan ratings and reviews of charitable organizations.
And finally…Accept the No – Giving to a charity is a deeply personal act, and every person will make their own (hopefully) well-informed decision. The truth is, even if you follow the rest of my advice to a tee, there’s still a good possibility that some people are going say no. You have to be prepared for that possibility, and accept that it will happen. It’s not a judgment on you, and you can’t let it deter you from your goal. Be respectful of someone’s choice, thank them for their consideration and move on. This kind of acceptance is incredibly freeing, and will allow you to keep up your positive momentum without feeling crushed under the weight of rejection.
There are plenty of people out there who, I promise, will be eager to support you in your 3-Day fundraising. And the culmination of all of your hard-earned donations—walking in the 3-Day—will make every speed bump along the way well worth it. Don’t let fear stop you.