Do you know the number reason people do not give to others? No one asks them. Plain and simple - no one asks them. Even though I am in the business of asking others to give, I have never felt very comfortable with the word and concept of "giving". Sounds too much like nothing is required other than forking something over. I prefer to think of it as offering an opportunity - an opportunity to support, an opportunity to achieve, an opportunity to make a difference.
Every day I am humbled by the way people make it possible for LIFT to achieve the goal of teaching adults to read for free. I am always amazed at the way people step up and literally put their money and their time where their mouths are.
Yesterday was the launch of DonorBridge, a new resource for non profit supporters in North Texas. Our supporters and partners were all abuzz about the possibility of LIFT receiving matching funds. When the site was launched at 12:01 a.m. several supporters went online to make their donation and as the day progressed, LIFT friends called to tell me they were making their donations on line. A college friend who lives in Florida e-mailed that she had made a donation. Before 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, LIFT partners were calling me asking if I knew how much in matching funds we might be receiving. DonorBridge generated excitement for LIFT, excitement that is needed in these, shall we say, challenging economic times. People were excited to be part of something. Those of us who stayed up late (and for me, midnight is really late - I am typically asleep even before the evening news broadcast) were attending our own little on line party, complete with texts and phone calls to keep up with our progress.
Several of our donors made DonorBridge gifts to LIFT in addition to their regular, yearly gifts. And all we had to do was ASK! We sent out two e-mails, a postcard mailing and included information in our newsletter. But what probably was the most effective tool was the fact that we shared information about Dallas Giving Day one on one with our volunteers and supporters. We talked to each personally about how the program would work and how they could make a difference. Many of those supporters then forwarded the e-mail to their friends and in the world of six degrees of separation, those friends forwarded it on to other friends. LIFT went viral. In addition to garnering us new donors, DonorBridge gave us the opportunity to remind people why LIFT is here and why the work we do matters.
Goes to show that all you have to do is ask. And you just might be surprised.