When You Care Enough: The Secret of Asking for Help

When You Care Enough - A Love Song to the Sea

You probably know that I’ve spent the past three decades giving people advice about fundraising. I guess my advice is reasonably good, because people keep coming back for more.

But really, I don’t think I have ever given people the biggest and most important piece of advice. It’s quite simple, but it provides the underpinning for all great fundraising.

Here’s the REAL Secret of Asking

You’ve got to care enough. When you do, asking gets easy!

If you don’t really care about what you are asking for, you’ll have trouble mustering what it takes to ask people for help. But if you do care — I mean really care — then asking becomes easy, even fun!

I learned this lesson over the past month working on my daughter Carla’s KickStarter campaign to raise $42,000 for her Oceans project.

I started helping her with the fundraising because that’s what I know how to do and she asked for my help.  But the more involved I became, the more I cared about the project.

And over time, I became totally committed, not just to her and her creative genius, but to the project as a whole.

Black Inscription: A Love Song to the Sea

Black Inscription – A Multi-media Song Cycle About Our Ocean is big and grand and far reaching. It connects music and science and the environment in a way that seems unlikely and even surprising.

I realized that the more fascinated and committed to the project I became, the more willing I was to ask my friends and relatives and acquaintances. It felt as though I was doing them a favor to introduce them to this remarkable project. I asked without fear.

It was fine when people said no. And wonderful when they gave.

Asking: An Act of Generosity

As I finish writing this post, the campaign has just tipped over its goal and gifts are still coming in. I’m excited for those who gave, because they’ll get to be part of a remarkable creative adventure.

This project has helped me understand the power of being fully committed. The more involved I became, the more committed I was. And the more committed I became, the happier I was to invite other people to participate. Rather than feeling like a pick-pocket, I felt like a friend, offering people an opportunity to participate in something special.

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Think: What Do You Care Enough About?

Is there something you care deeply enough about that you’d be excited to ask other people to get involved? Think of something that is so exciting or important or moving that you want to introduce your friends and relatives and neighbors to it.

Imagine caring enough so that inviting other people to participate feels generous rather than selfish. Let yourself enjoy being part of something that is bigger (and better) than you are.

Share your ideas in the comments below. Or, head on over to Facebook and share your ideas there.