When I was an Executive Director, if you had asked me why I wasn’t raising more money, I would have said it was because I didn’t have enough time.
I would have said…
I can’t meet with enough people.
I don’t have enough staff support.
How can I prioritize fundraising when I am always putting out fires?
While of course it was true that I was extremely busy. (And you might be thinking… ‘she has NO idea, now with COVID I have absolutely NO extra time’. It is definitely any easy story to hide with.)
It was even more true that I was nervous to ask for too much.
And what this meant was that I was almost always leaving money on the table.
I didn’t want to ask for too much because I didn’t want to upset the donor (btw where did I get the idea that asking for what I needed would upset someone?!?).
That fear made me play small.
I stayed in the safe lane, asking for gifts and grants that I claimed ‘I had the best chance of getting’.
But here’s the truth:
What it was really about, was that it was the best chance of not getting a ‘no’ or, more likely, a partial no.
I think there was a part of me that thought asking for $20,000 and getting $20,000 was better than asking for $50,000 and getting $30,000.
Why? Because option one didn’t leave any room for disappointment!
But what IS disappointment, really? Disappointment comes from a story you made up, based on thoughts and beliefs that you decide to buy into or not.
“I shouldn’t have put them in such an awkward position.”
“They seemed uncomfortable when I asked, they probably don’t like me as much anymore.”
“They want to see budget details. It’s probably because they don’t trust where their last gift went. Why did I ask for more?!?”
I’ll let you in on a little secret.
All of these stories are complete bullshit.
Which means YOU decide to be disappointed by something or not. You asked for $50,000 and got $30,000 – HURRAY! Right?!?
Tell the truth, deep down, have you rationalized in this way before?
It’s ok, our brains/egos/gremlins/self-critic (whatever you call it) do this naturally.
They make up a lot of stories that are just plain ass backwards.
But they do it to keep us safe, to keep us small.
So we don’t hear a sentence like ‘you know, I can’t do $50,000 but I could increase my gift to $30,000 for this year to help with this project’.
Now, was that so bad? NOPE. Especially not if you can intercept the story.
Where is fear getting in the way of you going big?
How can you play bigger?
Do you know how to control you thoughts so they don’t hold you back? <— THIS is the #1 key to it all!
If you want to stop the chatter and take control of you thoughts and actions, book a discovery session today and let’s get to work.