Rule #1: Find a Way to Say Yes to Revenue

graphic of: yes with a checked boxed and no not selectedI approached a nonprofit membership organization about honoring a friend. To thank the friend, I wanted to give a donation in her honor. When the CEO learned that I was a visitor, instead of exploring how to help me reach my goal, she began to sell me a membership. She listed on and on membership benefits-tossing my goal aside.

It was like having a persistent gnat in your face that you can’t catch while you’re trying to get something done.

I left feeling unheard, less inclined to join, and wondering if my idea was worth pursuing.

Here the take-away:

Say yes when people want to give your organization money for something that is ethical, honest, and legal.

My request was simple. I even suggested how to do it. Add the following to one of their many newsletters: “Kudos to Sally Jane for providing a great referral to one of our guests. A donation was made in her name to help this organization meet its operating expenses. Way to go Sally! We appreciate you.” *

Instead, I bought a gift certificate from a national chain…. I might have been a new donor.

Listen to people who want to give you money.

When do you say “no” when you might say “yes”?

* What’s even more fascinating is that my query represented a new revenue stream-surely I’m not the only one who would like to thank a member, recognize a birthday, or otherwise celebrate, and help the organization.

For more answers, check out this Nonprofit  CEO Library.

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Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis Consulting guides executive directors and CEOs to generate the resources, boards, and support they need to make remarkable progress on their missions. As the award-winning thought-leader, advisor, and founding principal of Karen Eber Davis Consulting, Karen helps nonprofit leaders get answers, generate revenue, and grow their mission. Davis is known for her innovation and practicality based on her work with or visits to over 1,000 nonprofit organizations and her experience leading board and team events. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.