Nonprofit fundraising: how your mindset affects your asks

My mother grew up in a family of fun, boisterous people and they had these amazing parties. And one tradition was the toast they would give at the height of the merriment, when everyone was really enjoying each other. 

Someone would stop and say, “I wonder what the poor people are doing tonight!”

And it is a beautiful sentiment about no matter how much they had or didn't have, they felt rich for being together. 

So this is a really interesting thing because my family did not grow up poor. My mother was born in 1927. So she was a child of the Depression and World War Two…a very austere time. 

My grandfather owned a grocery store in Baltimore. My family was actually pretty well off.A good thing to be during the Depression and World War Two was a grocery store owner because you could always eat. And my my my mother and her siblings went to Catholic school. They were they were they were a well-off family. I don't think they thought that. But they were they were they were doing OK. 

Yet there was always that undercurrent of struggle. And my mother really adopted this as a child whose formative years were spent during the Great Depression and WWII. So I grew up around this around this much money mindset of you have to keep your money close because you never know when it's going to disappear. 

I grew up in 70s and 80s. We had the Vietnam War, Watergate, the Cold War, the recession, Enron…all the institutions as we knew them were crumbling around us. And as a Gen-X kid of the 70s and 80s, I adopted the “Well, you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow so you better enjoy it today.”

So my parents did well but they also did not spoil us or indulge. I spoiled and indulged myself as a way to rebel against my mother's money mindset.

What we believe about money, we learned from our parents. This is how you develop your money mindset.

So what I've been doing over the last month is working with a money mindset coach to help me dive into what my beliefs are about money. I am committed to growing this business so I can serve as many people as possible for as long as possible. So my past behaviors of rebelling and spending money may not be serving me.

I'm doing a deep dive because it also drives our ability to fundraise. As fundraisers, your money mindset is at play and can often keep you from asking for money or sabotage your efforts, AND you might not even know it. 

I am sure someone's already asked
What if they give out of obligation and then I feel guilty?
They probably don't have the money
I am sure they want to give to other more trendy organizations right now
What if they say no?

This is our money mindset, our subconscious beliefs, screaming at us...stay safe down here, don't challenge the system! These beliefs are driving how you interact.

I am doing the deep dive into money mindset because as a business owner, I want to help as many people as possible for as long as possible. So I am learning what my blocks are so I can move past them and grow a successful company.

As a nonprofit leader, you can do the same for yourself or for those who you want to support you in fundraising, like board and staff. It's not about a script or brochure, it is about the mindset of the person doing the asking.  

For the next three weeks, I will be doing a deep dive into money mindset and fundraising. 

  1. How your brain works and how we can retrain it

  2. Identify and remove blocks around money and fundraising

  3. Teach others in a gentle and supportive way to explore and remove their blocks so they can support your work and also understand themselves better

I am putting my truth out there because I want you to learn and grow along with me.

If this is resonating with you, we will be covering money mindset (along with lots of other awesome information) at the next Courageous Change workshop, February 27, 28 and March 1. Join Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition (STL), Kinshapes (SF), Tower Grove Park (STL), Metro Trans Umbrella Group (STL) and more surprise guests! It is going to be jam-packed with valuable information to increase your organization's ability to attract money, people or whatever else you need. 

If you want to know more, click here and we can set up a time to talk to see if this workshop is right for your organization.

Maryanne Dersch