LOA Friendly Way to Request Help?

LOA Friendly Way to Ask For HelpOur latest question comes from a couple of readers looking for tips on how to ask for help in a way that doesn’t emphasize the problem.

They’re aware that explaining why they need assistance just reinforces the very conditions they don’t want.

And yet, without having others understand the basis of the request for help, people don’t seem as responsive.

One reader operates a non-profit organization to feed the hungry, and is desperate for financial support.

Another reader asks how to hold an LOA fundraiser. She writes:

I’m trying to raise money for medical needs and I know I’m doing it wrong because I’m coming at it from the “this is all the bad stuff” that a lot of fundraising does.

I want to develop an LOA positive fundraising message that will attract donors but I don’t know how to do that. Everything keeps going back to need and a feeling of desperation and the words reflect that.

Maybe some of you have been in this position before, where explaining why you need someone’s assistance just activates the vibration of disempowerment or problem.

How do you manage that situation?

Thanks in advance for any tips you can provide on how a savvy creator can send up a white flag without exacerbating the contrast.

  • June 3, 2015
  • I agree with Jeanette on this, that positive leaving the door open for the next time is such a good idea.

  • Michael says:

    I did not ask for fundraising skills, however I was solicited to act in that capacity by the presidents & CEO’s of two national organizations.I learned on the job.
    Certainly acting modestly, with respect, and from a position of strength, while presenting a no-nonsense attitude is essential.
    Target your prospects based on doing your homework first, to gain a personal knowledge of their track record of giving. High net-worth individuals can spot BS in a flash, and you don’t get a 2nd chance.
    Don’t settle for talking to the horse’s rear end, ( or gate keeper, secretary) when your goal is to reach the horse’s head, i.e.. the decision maker. An important compliment I received was that I had a way of asking for funds, that the decision maker did not find insulting.
    If you are lucky to receive a meeting, (lunch is always best), and if you do not receive a decisive outcome, follow up with a reversed action letter,_… by reversing the opening and ending paragraphs.
    For instance you might write, “I enjoyed our appointment, and look forward to scheduling a follow-up meeting to discuss your gift.”
    Instead begin with “I look froward to discussing your gift, and I enjoyed our meeting very much.”
    Finally if the answer from the decision maker is “No”, accept it graciously, simply, and leave a good taste in their mouth. Because next year, you’ll be approaching them again.

    • Jeannette says:

      Michael, I especially appreciate your tip to keep the door open with good feelings flowing. I enjoy thinking of it instead of as a “no” rather a “not yet.”

  • Miracles says:

    You should really watch the Money, and the Law of Attraction DVD it’s really awesome. Every time I watch it I feel so open and so connected with the universe, so I ask and receive. If you would like to check this DVD out go here http://amzn.to/1Gq7cNY

  • Anonymous has correctly pointed out that abuse, domestic violence, hunger, and homelessness are severe issues. However, the semantics of the issues are over played. If you want to call them problems feel free to do so, but problems are hardly ever solved. If I choose to call them challenges and severe challenges it allows me to resolve in my mind that the issues to society are great but absolutely solvable. For every “problem” starts on an individual level, as a challenge to be solved by individuals. Problem or severe challenge it is all the same except for how we react to it and what we do about it.
    My hat is off to you as a grant writer having to deal with the facts surrounding these issues. It takes a strong person to be able to even look at those “facts” let alone do so on a daily basis.
    Your advise on writing grants is excellent and is how society and government and business, expect to see the grant written.

    • So true, Dr. Ian, because the vibration of the problem is no where near the vibration of the solution.
      I’ve often wondered about non-profits that would cease to exist if the ‘problems’ they work with were solved…is it even in their best interest to find a solution? My sense is no…which might shock some of them.
      Imagine a world where non-profits sprang up and dissolved within a month on a regular basis because they were able to get everyone aligned with a solution. OK, that might take the “fun of contrast” out of it, which is why a lot of us are on Earth (to enjoy working through the contrast), but you get my drift.
      Love the suggestions to focus on successes, what’s *working*, and keep out of the drama. On FB, someone suggested asking for non-physical help with Abe’s Placemat Process. Here’s the PDF for those who want to try it: http://affirmingspirit.com/Placemat.pdf
      Many blessings,

      • Excellent! Just printed up a few copies, quite a good way to organize the day!

      • Anonymous says:

        I too have wondered what will happen when all of societies difficult issues are solved. I for one will be designing furniture or learning to paint. The problem is the system that non profits have to operate in is flawed – the one who can *show* the greatest need gets the money to operate. And, often you can’t get money for operational expenses, you have to show that the funds will be used for a “new” program. This forces the organization to continually come up with new programs, rather than refine the programs already in place and give them time to work.
        The continual need for money to operate also leads to a competitive feeling, which isn’t a good place to be when you are trying to do good work. Add to that the sense that most non profit’s culture is one of “the sky is falling”.
        I have seen here that the LOA community is very powerful. Today I am challenging you to help make the path easier for those who are trying to solve societies most pressing problems/challenges.
        Thank You!

        • Patrice says:

          I love the idea of money to create. It teaches us how to align with energy because it is only energy. If we had no bargaining chips we’d just have everything and then we’d be upset that we had everything! The Medium of Money is a great teacher for us all.

        • Anonymous,
          You have hit the nail on the head on this one, the system for non-profits is very flawed, but no more so than the entire system that we function under world wide. What is needed is the development of a global system designed not on the economic theories of scarcity but the only competing theory of economics the spiritual solution to economic policy based on the principle of abundance. Yes, some things are scarce, but their is still enough for everyone in the world to have abundance if they so chose to do so and think it so.
          Our view has to become unlimited rather than limited by all the old and outworn garments of past societies. We live in a new age if we allow ourselves to enter into it.

  • Anonymous says:

    I have worked in the non profit world for many years. There are some issues that are beyond mere challenges, such as child abuse, domestic violence, hunger and homelessness. These are problems that society needs to figure out how to solve because the impact on all of society for generations is huge. The flip side of that is the change for one family out of hunger or abuse is also generational and impacts the whole community. Spending your days trying to convince the public, that first there is a problem, and second that financial help is needed to solve it is very very draining. Please send a thank you to all the people who do this work every day.
    When writing a grant one of the parts is always to make a statement of need. This is where you describe how bad the situation is. I found it helpful to “just stick to the facts” and not get emotional during this part. For example, “today, 100 children will go to school without one bite to eat”. The next thing a foundation will want to know is what will happen if you don’t receive the money from them. You can’t very well say, “we’ll manage somehow” or “someone else will come through” because then obviously you don’t need their money. You have to paint a very dire picture in order to reach them emotionally. It is always about the story.
    Today’s society is very fickle when it comes to donating. What ever is the latest cause or the most flamboyant campaign will get the funds. People also want a quick fix. Everyone is willing to give to make sure a child gets Christmas presents, but they don’t want to donate to make sure the child’s parents gets parenting classes so they learn the importance of playing with the child.
    I have learned to not be attached to any one grant request or any one donation campaign. I believe that there are people out there who want to help, and while I may not know exactly who they are, I trust that the information I am sending will reach the right person who is ready to hear it. And when I do get the money I always say to myself “people are good”.

  • Teri says:

    I’ve seen a number of pet related charities focus on how the animals are helped. The actual transformations they are able to provide for animals in need.
    Could you take that approach? To show the transformation your organization can make in the life of an individual or individuals?
    Being friends with a former president of a rescue, I know that these types of campaigns showing a transformation get great engagement and I wonder if you could apply something similar in your work.

    • Jeannette says:

      Teri, that works on me almost every time! I love it when they spotlight the possibilities or successes rather than the impending doom if we don’t act now.

  • Brian says:

    “They’re aware that explaining why they need assistance just reinforces the very conditions they don’t want.”
    You want to keep your question short and to the point. Imagine you’re doing a pitch on Shark Tank, or a business meeting. Really great pitches can be explained in 90 seconds or less. So, when you “pitch” your questions, have them be a couple sentences, maybe a paragraph or two, and then follow it with what you want and where you want to go.

    You really don’t need that much emphasis on the problem in order to be able to ask a question.

    “I want to develop an LOA positive fundraising message that will attract donors but I don’t know how to do that.”
    Start small. You’re trying to completely overhaul the entire fundraising experience all at once, which can make it feel overwhelming and/or at the very least, introduce confusion. It’s like saying, “I want to climb Mount Everest, but I’ve never climbed before. How do I climb the mountain today?” You can’t. That’s the answer. You can’t change the whole fundraiser at once, and there’s no need to.

    Get out a piece of paper, make two columns, and on the left side write several phrases that you have been using that you feel are out of alignment. Next, on the right column, take each sentence from the left column and write it in a new way that feels a little better. Not completely positive if that does not feel good, but just raise the vibration of it just a little bit. As you do that with each thought or slogan or phrase, you will gradually begin to raise the vibration of your fundraiser, and get to where you want to be, one vibrational step at a time.

  • Gary Bodley says:

    Hi Jeannette, this is from Joshua.
    There are two ways to approach life; you can try to fix problems or you can decide to create what is wanted. As you know, problems stem from the illusion that something is wrong. Since there is no wrong anywhere in the universe, you can’t fix what you think is wrong. All you can do is CREATE more wrong. You are a creator, not a fixer or a problem solver.
    If you want to create something, then create what is wanted by focusing on that. Always pose the request for something you want to create, not for something you want to stop. You cannot move to what is wanted by removing yourself from what you believe is unwanted. It is simply contradictory to the design of the universe.
    The universe was created to allow for an infinite variety of experience. All beings have free will to explore physical reality in any way they please. You might want certain things and dislike other things, but someone else may want or need to experience that which you dislike. That is the design and therefore no one gets to choose what is right or wrong for anyone else. All you need do is focus on what you want personally.
    When raising money for something, frame it in a statement that describes what is wanted. Inspire people to join you in your quest for something wonderful. Something wonderful is not the end of something unwanted, it is the creation of something new. The problem gave birth to the desire for something new and so the problem is to be embraced as beneficial. Your perception is limited and it’s not easy to see how all of this will unfold. All you can do is keep your eyes and your hearts focused on the outcome you truly desire.
    We are Joshua

  • Stacey says:

    When start-up companies seek financing from investors for a business that solves a problem– they focus on the outcome (changed lives, improved performance etc.)
    Attract donors for your campaign by talking about what you want to accomplish with your life. What is your vision? Scriptures say, ‘Without a vision the people perish.’ Your campaign will die on the vine without a vision of the positive possibilities.

  • Patrice says:

    I would say be personable. Ask as if you are asking a friend for a favor. Rather than write out the request like a proposal for a job, phrase it like a conversation. I would sit down and act like I am having a conversation with a friend to get the “feel” of the message. I’d want the reader/potential donor to really feel the overall humanity of my situation and the total gratitude I have for them. There was an ad campaign some years ago, “if we all do a little we can do a lot”. That is such a true statement and great approach. When we see huge dollar amounts it intimidates us, but when we realize that truly every bit helps and that the giving itself is all equal for it is the giving not the amount that counts. Make every person feel special and appreciated.

    • Jeannette says:

      Good point, Patrice. Coming at it as a favor from a friend feels like a much better vibe than if we were presenting ourselves as a charity case in need of rescuing.
      Thanks for adding to the conversation here. 🙂

  • Nikky says:

    Hi Jeannette,
    If someone has to raise money for a cause the LOA way, they should simply talk about the cause in a way as if they have already received the desired amount of donations and how it has helped with the cause.
    For example use messages like ” Do you love the look of someone with a happy warm meal in them, come and share your bit and donate”
    ” Want to put a smile on a cancer survivors face, donate with your happy, healthy intentions , here ”
    You could even organize fundraising events using the theme of LOA
    ” Feeling healthy – help, donate and intend another soul to get healthy”
    Also some alignment practice for the person organizing such donations would also be required.

    • Jeannette says:

      Nikky, you’re reminding me of what a great job Best Friends Animal Sanctuary does of this. They are so good at spotlighting the successes and offering donors opportunities to continue those successes.
      Thanks for chiming in on this one. 🙂

  • Quite a question or two. Perhaps the first thing to do is emphasize the “problem” not as a problem (which in and of itself says its hard to solve), and emphasize it as a “challenge” (something that can with less difficulty be solved.) Ask other people to help you meet this challenge, involve them in the process as co-creators with you.
    I think the same can be said for the second individuals medical “problems” by making them medical challenges that you are enlisting others to help meet the challenges and create monetary solutions that solve the challenge.

    • Jeannette says:

      I agree, Dr. Ian, that the languaging itself can have a tremendous impact on the vibration.
      Thanks for the helpful suggestion to be more creative in our wording for assistance!

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