Fundraising From the Heart (It Takes Courage!)

There are different approaches to fundraising, but fundraising from the heart trumps them all. Why? Because it involves the whole person. When your “ask” comes from the deep place that is at the center of your being, the center of all thoughts, feelings, passions, and decisions, then you are fundraising from the heart.

When you ask from that place, you are in relationship with the other person, and yourself, in an open, listening and trusting way. Asking from the heart always builds relationship and it always builds community, which is what fundraising is all about.

It takes courage to fundraise from the heart. Not the kind of courage it takes to climb Mount Everest or to ride a bike across the country. But the courage to be emotionally and spiritually vulnerable.

Several years back, I watched the movie “We Bought a Zoo” with my kids. It is based on the real-life story of Benjamin Me who had the crazy idea to buy and refurbish a rundown zoo. Against all odds he did it. At one-point Benjamin says:

“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.”

Wow… 20 seconds of insane courage.

To take a deep breath and ask for forgiveness.

To risk rejection by declaring your love.

To say yes to making the largest financial donation you have ever made.

To ask for help.

To go back to school when you are 70.

To run for public office when you are 20.

To share your secret.

To begin to pray when you never have before.

To express a disappointment or resentment.

To look a street person in the eye and say, “Hey, tell me a little about yourself”.

And yes, to fundraise from the heart. To ask someone respectfully, directly, and face to face, to become a financial partner.

Embarrassing bravery. Insane courage. Internal fortitude. Occasionally I have it but often I don’t.

But it helps me to be less afraid if I think about it 20 seconds at a time.


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