I always start my trainings by asking the audience to share a word or two response to the question, "How do you feel about soliciting - asking for money?". Invariably a majority of responses are along the lines of "hate it,” "nervous," "like I'm begging," and "it depends on the cause." This kind of angsty response is what you'd expect from a group that chose to attend a session called "Fundraising: Getting Past the Fear of Asking."
But then I ask them, "How do you feel when you write a check to your favorite organization?". This is money they've set aside for charity - not their lunch money or fun money. The organization is one they've gotten to know and respect - and the cause is one they care deeply about. They're about to write the check, or more likely filling out a form on a website, how do they feel now? The room immediately lightens up and the responses include "great," "engaged," "making difference," "good," and "wish I could do more."
Interesting. Asking for money makes people feel anxious, but donating makes them feel awesome. Let's reflect on that for a moment. Asking = bad, giving = good.
What's the number one reason people don't give? They are not asked. That's right, people don't give if they're not asked, and they're more likely to give if someone they know and trust asks them. So if you don't get past your fear of asking you are denying your friends the ability to feel like they're making a difference - the ability to be truly engaged with a cause they care about. You are keeping your friends from feeling great.