Return to site

Donor-excuse generator #1. You.

Asking for money isn’t easy.

So, as with all things that require effort, our yetzer hara has some very creative ways of keeping us from doing it.

Let’s zoom in on one tactic: the 'donor-excuse generator'.

- The market’s down – it’s probably a bad time to ask.

- He’s got so many people chasing him – I should leave the poor guy alone.

- Hm, he didn’t answer my email – I must have offended him.

- Real estate is taking a hit now – I’ll give him some space.

All logical conclusions. And the sensitivity is beautiful.

Beautiful, but misplaced. Logical, but skewed.

Why? Because you’re not just in this for yourself. You’re not asking for money so you can take off to Miami in a Lamborghini. You have a mission – a crucial mission to build the future of Klal Yisrael. Your job is to ask. And ask again.

Leave the cheshbonos to your donor. It’s his job to decide how much to give, how closely to match your ask. Your focus should be on meeting your needs, not his perceived financial considerations.

Of course, there will be times when donors tell you they can’t help at the moment, and that’s fine.

Just make sure you aren’t imagining such times into existence.

So: what to do if you find yourself in excuse-generator mode?

First, shift your focus from speculations to hard facts: what did your donor give last year? How much do you need him to give this year?

Next, give yourself some chizuk by going over the key points in your pitch:

  1. Why do you need these funds? (How will you use them to impact people’s lives?)
  2. Why is it crucial to make that impact? (What negative things would happen if you didn’t have the funds to do it?)
  3. Why do you need the money now? (Express 'emergency-free' urgency. It’s a fine balance.)
  4. What’s a story you can share to arouse your donor’s emotions? (Always good to have a story in your pocket.)

No more falling for the yetzer hara’s donor-excuse tactics. Your mission deserves more.

Have a great fundraising week,



© Avraham Lewis & Co.