Homeless youth

Homeless youth
People we don't see.

Friday, May 27, 2011


As I transition into my new job I have taken a couple weeks to really focus on that, yet have also been thinking about this next post and all of the folks who have been reading my posts.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. I have been blown away by the kind feedback I have received, and also by the editing feedback!!!

The topic of this blog is "ask". What I mean by this is that with everything we have going on, with everything that has to be done "right now", it is sometimes easy to forget that the easiest, least expensive way to fundraise is to simply ask someone for a donation.

We recently had an event and I was with one of my guests who is a potential corporate sponsor. One of our board members swung by and simply said "I hope you can help us". Amazing! I was so excited that this simple sentence that carried with it such a powerful ask.

I hope you can help us.

Can you support this program?

Can you buy a $10,000 table at our Gala to help us build energy around the event?

Would you be able to make your annual donation in June rather than in December?

I have met several peers in fundraising that are at times uncomfortable asking for money. If you are a funraising professional, you just have to get over any fear in asking for money. It's what we do. And you can rock at it! (This perhaps could be the subject of a whole other posting!)

Those lacking money to pay for their meds to fight HIV or cancer need us to ask. Those being killed and injured in the streets of Syria need us to ask. The abused animal needs us to ask. The beaten wife needs us to ask. The local arts organization needs us to ask.

Fundraising for Free! is all about sharing things I have learned about fundariaing that do not cost you anything, or cost very little. It can all start with a simple ask.

Who will you ask today? If you make an ask today, I'd love to hear about the response.

Big love to all of you out there raising money to make the world a better place for all living beings!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Be yourself!

Those of you who have been reading for a few months know that in April I started a new fundraising job. After 2 1/2 years at my last agency I decided to take a move and after one month there I am beyond ecstatic with this new opportunity.

Fundraising for Free! has been a great opportunity for me to share about my experiences with fundraising and share ideas that don't cost anything (or very little). My hope is to build a community of fundraisers who learn from each other and who change the world as we raise money for groups near and dear to our hearts.

I write often about the importance of face-to-face meetings with donors, as well as the importance of always working to build an even stronger relationship with your donors. One thing that I have recently learned with my new job (and have tried to do in my fundraising life) is to be myself when speaking with donors or supporters.

The photo here is one of my husband and I (I'm on the left. I know, my husband is handsome. :) ). We were married on April 30, 2005. I wanted to write this post about being yourself because in the last month I have had conversations with people I have just met and have spoken about my marriage. Regardless of the opinion around gay marriage of the donor/supporter, in each instance I have walked away having a better relationship with that donor. Some have even written a note and some Twitter followers have told me "good job" for being out about my marriage on Twitter.

This post is not about promoting gay marriage. It is everything about bringing the 100% you to the table when meeting with donors.

Another example is that when having a meal with a donor they inevitably discover that I am vegan. Questions are asked and through that process we get to know each other even better.

The other night I discovered that the donor I was dining with was a Civil War buff. Me too! What a great way to get closer to a donor.

Let your passion and yourself out and you will thrive!