It’s Science: Asking For Donations Will Help You & The Donor Feel Good

Giving HormoneYesterday I saw another graphic showing that giving feels good. You can see it by clicking here. Cute infographics aside, we all know the amazing feeling we get when we do something for someone else and feel like it made an impact. Whether this something is the perfect birthday present for a sister or donating money to drill a water well in India – the powerful surge of the hormone, oxytocin, is a hard feeling to beat. The science of the hormonal surge is best explained by motivational speaker Simon Sinek in his YouTube Video on leadership. He is fascinating and worth watching.

People who know intellectually – who have read the studies and understand from a personal perspective – how much we, as human beings, love to be helpful. But we still feel that asking someone to donate to an annual fund or capital campaign is an imposition. It seems kooky to have this internal conflict. But, knowing something intellectually does not always translate into the savviest actions.

But, by not asking you are denying these people that unbelievable feeling. Someone would even say that it is stingy. And, “being stingy will stress you out” (this is a direct quote from the infographic referenced above). Let’s follow this logic and say that not asking for donations will stress you out. And that’s not including the fact that not asking for donations will also lower your annual / capital campaign numbers. And that can also add stress.

So, what should you do if you or someone you know can’t get past the hesitancy and start asking for donations?

  1. Practice. Role play with others who are also uncomfortable. You will be amazed that you are not alone in your feelings and that you can handle the objections.
  2. Get out there – three times. The worst that could happen is the person says no. The best is that you both feel the rush of oxytocin because you gave your time and they gave a meaningful gift. Give it three tries so that the nerves will have a chance to wear off and you can truly enjoy the process.
  3. Get trained in the fine art of asking. Mersky, Jaffe & Associates is happy to help your staff or board with training on an individual or group basis.

And I promise, knowing you are helping so many people feel good will have you feeling good long after the hormone surge has left your body.