Ask And You Shall Receive

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.

Two years ago I did fundraising for Minnesota Jinglun Chinese School, a new Chinese school located in Woodbury. I even wrote an article about fundraising lessons learned.

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. 


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