Nonprofit Fundraising: Get rid of the negative money stories (part 2 of 3)

Watch the VIDEO of part 2 of this article here!

 Last week, we focused on how the brain works and how our subconscious often drives our decision around money, because our money stories were programmed into us a long time ago by our parents. Now those money stories play out today in both how we manage and think about money and also how we fundraise. This week, we're going to learn how to shift that limiting negative thinking that we have into something way more positive.

“In The Past” to “Now I Am”

 For this activity, we're going to inventory all of our personal money stories and our professional fundraising money stories.

Your personal money stories could be things like:

·      “I just work and never get ahead.”
·      “Good things don't happen to me.”

·      “I just I can't, I'm not good with money.”

Your professional fundraising money stories could be things like:

·      “Fundraising is really overwhelming for me and I hate it.”

·      “Phone solicitation is the worst thing that was ever invented.”

·      “I raise a lot of money, but I know I could raise more, and I don't know what's blocking me.”

Now you're going to wave a magic wand over those negative money mindset thoughts. You're going to use your magic wand to create the vision for how you want things to be.

·      “I never get ahead” could become, “I'm going to get ahead and I’m going to be very successful.”

·      “I know I could be raising more money, but I don't know how,” could become, “I raise money easily, with grace and service to everyone I need. I know when I ask for what my organization needs, it will come to me.”

You're going to write your personal and professional fundraising money stories down on the left side of a piece of paper. On the right side, write down your magic wand* visions.

When I say, “magic wand,” I mean it. Give me something big! Think about what could be the dream that you would want to happen. I would rather you make some crazy dream and get halfway there than give yourself something realistic that you know you can achieve. We’re so afraid of not meeting a goal, we often set completely realistic goals when we could be pushing ourselves so much harder. And the way we do that is to unlock these negative mindsets and then dismiss them. 

Now that you have your left and your right lists—how it was and how you want it to be—I’m going to teach you three little words that go with this activity. In front of your negative money stories from your past, you're going to write, “In the past.” In front of your magic wand visions, you're going to write, “Now I am.”

For example:

In the past: I hate phone solicitations. It was the worst part of my job.

Now I am: comfortable making phone solicitations. In fact, I'm excited about it, because I know it makes me so grateful to share how valuable our donors are to our organization.

In the past: I used to think that I was bad with money.

Now I am: capable of managing my finances effectively.

 And let me tell you, this works for anything. Anything in your life where you're holding on to a limiting belief, you can put “in the past” in front of it. I did it with my handwriting. In the past, I had sloppy handwriting. Now I am a neat hand writer; I write deliberately and neatly. 

Reprogramming Our Brain: Negative to Positive 

In my workshops, what I do with folks is that we look at these money mindsets and these money stories, and we inventory them. We create a vision for how we want it to be, and we start to really connect with and think about that. That vision could be real, and the only thing that's keeping us from it is what's in our heads—those limiting beliefs and the negative input that we get from other people.

Here's the trick, though. When you first start saying these things, you're not going to believe it. And that's okay because we're just programming your brain, because your brain probably didn't believe that money negative story in the first place. We were just conditioned to believe it. When you start to believe, it's going to take you a while. It's going to take a little bit for your mind to reprogram that subconscious. It's going to take a little bit for that subconscious to understand and reprogram itself to where you're just standing in that vision so easily. And those negative thoughts that pop up every once in a while, you’ll just pop them like a bubble and they’ll go away, because you have these other positive thoughts in you now. And yes, it is that simple.

 Because what happens when we try to change things? When we try to change the way we look, the way we act, and the way we connect with people, we just change the behavior; we don't change our thoughts. Then our subconscious is constantly fighting against that change in behavior and we wind up failing, which makes us feel really bad. And it's really not a moral failing or a weakness. It's just that we don't understand how the brain works.

I practice this every single day in my life. It can be easy. It just takes consistent effort to really pay attention to your brain, your thoughts, and what's happening to your mindset. So when you get in that difficult mindset, now you have the tools to get you out. We have to really manage our monkey mind. That's what I like to call it—the subconscious brain that just goes and goes and goes.

When we have the tools to manage that, then we can really start making significant changes in our life. 

Coming Up

 You're going to start hearing peoples’ money stories float across like bubbles, and you're going to want to pop that bubble for them—but we're going to wait for that. So next week, I'm going to teach you how to lovingly and supportively help others with their money mindset, so they can understand their limiting beliefs around who they are, what they can achieve, and how they can help your organization grow. I know there are possibly a lot of people who are on your board, staff, or committees who would love to be more supportive, but they just don't know how. Or they would love to help you raise money, or they're terrified and it makes them feel really limiting. We're going to help them switch that.