For the last few months I have been helping the Transportation Division of the Special Libraries Association, of which I am a member, to do fundraising for the upcoming annual conference in New Orleans.
So I do have some fundraising experiences.
Finding potential vendors to contact and writing an email request are not hard for me to do.
Yet, making a cold phone call isn’t as easy as writing a letter for me. Procrastination is my solution to anything I do not enjoy doing.
Since I haven’t got responses to all my email requests I sent out in the last two months, I felt it’s time for me to pick up the phone and talk to people.
So this afternoon I made up my mind to do that. “Nothing to lose, just ask.”
The first company I called is an international company with multiple offices in the United States. I called the general number and talked to the receptionist. She gave me the phone number for the Director of Sales and Marketing in a different office. He is the one I emailed two months ago and hadn’t responded.
I dialed his number directly. Luckily he picked up the phone. I told him why I called and mentioned the email I sent him.
He quickly found my email and said, without any questions and hesitation, “I am responding to you right now.”
“Are you saying yes to my request?” I wondered.
“Yes, I am sending it now.”
That was the conversation we had.
Seconds later, I got his response, in which he committed $100 to our annual conference.
$100 is not much for a big company like his, but for me, something is better than nothing.
“That was easy.”
The first successful phone call boosted my confidence instantly.
I make a couple of more calls.
I had one “No” response because it’s too late in the game, the money had already been committed to other requesters. The other response I had was “Send me something in writing.” Still looks promising.
The fundraising experience I had today reinforces the few lessons I learned two years ago.
The most important one?
“Ask and you shall receive."
Think about it.
If someone had not asked Dorothy Merrill for donating $1500,00 to the arts center in the first place, it’s unlikely that she would leave $2 million for the arts center after her death. (see 2/17 and 2/19 posts)
It all happened because someone took the courage and time to ASK.