Mary Valloni has helped thousands of individuals and organizations overcome the lack and scarcity mindset to fund and fulfill their missions. Her award-winning book is Fundraising Freedom: 7 Steps to Build & Sustain Your Next Campaign.

Interview with Mary Valloni

Talking about money

While many of us shy away from conversations about money, Mary tackles the money issue straight-on. How does she know the money problem can be overcome? She’s done it. In a recession.

“Let’s just start dreaming, because there’s no reason why money should ever stop anyone from fulfilling the vision that God has given to them… If money is your biggest problem right now, I’ve got something to tell you. That can be overcome. We can tackle that. That is easy on the scale of what to overcome.”

Mary Valloni

Mary’s enthusiasm and her joy are contagious. We need more people like her. One of the big problems for fundraisers, especially in ministry, is that we do it alone. So, Mary teamed up with Mike Kim, a top personal brand and marketing expert. They created Fully Funded Academy, which helps missionaries get – you guessed it – fully funded.

The process for missionaries or nonprofits of any size is similar, following the seven-step framework laid out in Mary’s Fundraising Freedom book.

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Our focus in this interview is on mindset, because during a crisis it’s easy to assume people aren’t going to give. But that’s not the case!

“This is not the time to freeze and to slow down. This is absolutely the time to innovate and to  figure out what is what, go back to the foundation of why you created this thing in the first place, and realize that your vision has not changed one bit. We are just going to do this a little bit differently.”

Mary Valloni

What can we do right now?

Mary’s top advice right now? Communicate frequently, because that’s what friends do. Now is the time to check in on our supporters, to see how they’re doing, and to ask for their advice. Share the wins, even the little wins. There is a lot of bad news these days, so your good news will get noticed. “We all need each other. Some people are going to have the finances; some people are going to have the passion, the time commitment to go and do the physical work. But we are all in this together.”

Links

Connect with Mary – maryvalloni.com
Mary’s Fundraising Freedom Podcast – http://maryvallonishow.com/
Get the book (Amazon affiliate link)

Disclosure: Links may be affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these resources, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Tap the “+” below to open the transcript

Transcript

Kay:

Hey, Mary, thank you so much for being here.

Mary:

Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of the show.  

Kay:

Let’s get to know you a little bit. What is it that you do for people?

Mary:

So I am a fundraising coach, consultant and trainer. That’s what I tell people. I basically just help them. Help ministries and charities raise money. So I’ve been doing this for, well, I feel like forever. I was the one who was raising money through candy bar sales and elementary school, you know, and moving up through selling stuff in high school, going on those marketing or business trips, and then ended up college mission trips and other stuff that I was raising money for. 

But it was during my college years that I really felt a call to help people raise money and help others with that. So I started working for Special Olympics, the ALS Association and the American Cancer Society.

And during my time at the American Cancer Society, I had put on this signature fundraising event that net a half a million dollars during the great recession. And during that season it was like one of those moments where everybody started to kind of lean in and say, what the heck are you doing?

Like how did you raise a half a million dollars in new money in the middle of a recession? And so that’s where I started pulling apart the pieces to what we did and why we were so successful and that ultimately turned into the content that I share in my book, Fundraising Freedom, and what I teach.

You know, I have just a variety of ways, consulting and coaching that I do to share that with other people.

Kay:

Fundraising Freedom: Seven Steps to Build and Sustain Your Next Campaign, because this is the book that I give people when—I have people that contact me all the time—they say, “I want to start a ministry. I want to start a nonprofit,” and that’s the book. I say, “Go get this book.”

This is your starting point.

Mary:

Awesome. Thank you.

Kay:

It’s that, and Henri Nouwen’s book, The Spirituality of Fundraising. Those are the two, the two books.

Mary:

That’s a good one too. That’s, yeah, it’s always funny because I do have my face on the cover of the book, and I always love when nonprofit ministry leaders have the book and they take me on flights all around the world, and you know, they’re, they’re raising money in remote locations. I’ll, yeah. All over the place.

So it definitely, it works in the United States, which is where I wrote it and thought that this is really the group that it was going to attract, but it has definitely, um, been able to help a lot of ministries around the world. So thank you for passing it along.

Kay:

Yeah, well, people are people everywhere. And I think a lot of it, so much of it, it’s not really all about money. It’s, it’s about us as human beings.  It’s  And I’m not talking about like a trick, you know, psychology tricks. Like people think fundraising, psychology, tricks, you know, push that button, you know? But—it’s a lot of fundraising really is in our heads.

Mary:

Yeah, absolutely. Well, and we’re all raised with a different mindset around fundraising, and so, and just around money in general. You know, like I’m the youngest of seven. I grew up with very little money. Like, I mean, everything was hand-me-downs. Money. We didn’t; we didn’t. You know, we lived in an apartment; we didn’t have a lot of stuff.

And so, but I, in the book I talk about how, uh, my best friends were all, they all came from very wealthy families. And so all of a sudden now I was, you know, hanging out at their pool and I was in there driving with them. And they’re convertibles. And I was wearing their hand-me-down clothes, but it was like the name brand stuff.

And I was like, you, you know, you don’t have to live with little or not have access to those things just because maybe you were raised that way. So there are a lot of things that I’ve learned throughout the years. But in the area of fundraising, my favorite thing is just spending so much time with people who have money, you—you realize very quickly that they are no different than you. Like, we are all human. Just like you said, like some of us, I, you know, we all have different giftings and some people are really gifted at business and, and making money. And then there’s other people who are really extremely gifted at ministry and serving people, helping people.

And typically, that doesn’t come with a huge paycheck. And that’s something that I have been on a mission to end. Is that I, I really do believe that we all deserve—we all deserve whatever God has for us. And so I, I do believe that he has an abundance for all of us, and that there’s no reason why our ministry leaders should be living in poverty or feeling that way.

So yeah,  there’s a lot that comes with that money topic, which I actually—I love it because money gets into those deep conversations pretty quickly. So when people do share with me, okay, we’re trying to raise money or this is, and I’m like, “Awesome, let’s, let’s dive in.” I love tackling that ‘cause I’m like, “Let’s, let’s just start dreaming because there’s no reason why money should ever stop anyone from fulfilling the vision that God has given to them.”

So that’s where I’m like, money. If money is your biggest problem right now, I got something to tell you. That can be overcome. We can tackle that. That is easy on the scale of what to overcome. Now you got other issues how much you focus on those things. So yeah, we can take on…

Kay:

Yeah. And that’s, it’s such good news to hear that, you know? Oh yeah. That’s a problem that can be fixed.

Mary:

Oh, yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And we, we are in this place where it’s like; we think that some things are possible and then we think things, some things are absolutely impossible. Like there’s no way that that could ever happen. And so what happens, we don’t even try. Right? Don’t even try, because we’ve already made up our mind that that’s impossible.

And that’s where I’m like, man, when it comes to, you know, just our faith and what we believe in, I’m like, okay, scripture says that we can move mountains, like move mountains! That’s kind of a big thing. So I’m like, I’m pretty sure that the impossible, you know, that’s kind of kind of his thing. So I definitely think that it’s absolutely something that we…

Kay:

Absolutely. Yeah, I’m with you on that and I, and I. I know you because you’re part of the, well, you, it’s you and Mike Kim are that you have the Fully Funded Academy that you do just for missionaries. And, I got to be; I think among the first, maybe the second group in it.

Mary:

Yeah. Our first crew. Yeah, we opened it February of 2018, so wherever you landed in that mix. So it’s been a couple of years now,

Kay:

Yeah. And that’s amazing because you do, you walk through these seven steps that you lay out in your book, you’re walking this group through those steps and, and teaching some of the skills and everything. But it—again, going back to the mindset—we did the workshop last year together, and the very first thing you got up and you said, “Okay. Let’s deal with the stuff in the head right upfront first thing.”

Mary:

Absolutely. Well, because I didn’t realize how big that was until I started working with more and more missionaries and ministry leaders. And you know the, one of the things that I did on a work on a just a webinar training that I did with Mike when we first met, we did this training and I remember a mutual friend of ours, Nora, she works with Wycliffe and;  she said that the comment that I made that really changed everything was, “What are the lies that you’re telling yourself?”

You know, and we just started knocking down the lies. It was like, you know, that we should live in poverty, that we shouldn’t have nice cars or a nicer home, or that we should eat at certain restaurants or have certain clothes or whatever. The thing is that’s all very materialistic. I get that.

But at the same time, who’s telling us that? You know? Like that is a lie that we’ve been told, and there’s such a culture that’s been created around, “Oh, we should be living in poverty.” And now I’m not saying like, live lavishly and don’t take care of other people and be a jerk, you know, like, I’m not talking about that, but, but just calling out the lies on what we’ve told ourselves. And just the stories that we tell ourselves over and over and over again, you know? Because I was the same way. I’m like, I don’t want, if I, if I drive that kind of car, then people are gonna think this sort of thing. And then that’s gonna—and then we’d like, go on this rabbit trail of, you know, what they must think of me. And now all of a sudden I’m a bad Christian. And I was like, Ugh. Like that is not how this should be.

Kay:

And that’s fear of man, too, which isn’t something that we’re not supposed to have. And so we cling more tightly to the “I’m not supposed to have money,” which is actually rooted in a fear of man. Than we cling to the truth of God.

Mary:   

Well, yeah, and it’s like in our program, Fully Funded. All these missionaries that have gone through whatever they’ve been through. They have been so hurt. I mean, a lot of them have been really hurt by the church, by things that have been said. And so I understand where the fear of like, well, I don’t want to post that vacation because I lost three supporters the last time I did that, you know?

So I understand where that’s coming from and we’ve all been given our lot in life.  I mean, I worked for the American Cancer Society.  You’re not going to find a picture of me smoking outside the building and be like, I mean, number one. I’ll never and have never smoked.

But, but that is so counter to the organization itself that it’s like there are certain things that you align yourself with a certain kind of image, and I get all that. But the money factor; this is something that is, yeah, definitely rooted in a lot of different places. And you know, somebody maybe who had money didn’t provide, there’s just lots of different things that are going on in our heads. So yeah, I try and knock that right at its knees right at the beginning cause I was like, “Okay, let’s dream a little bit, you know? Let’s talk about what you actually need, because you’re already saying, ‘well that’s not even possible. I couldn’t be fully funded or I couldn’t raise that kind of money for my charity.”

You’ve never done it before. So you can’t say that it’s not possible, or that it’s, you know, you can’t. You’ve never even written the number on a sheet of paper, let alone tried! You know?  So it’s like, I mean, when I raised that half a million dollars with the American Cancer Society in that first year, I had never raised a half a million dollars in a single fundraising event. The previous event that I had done was $25,000.

Kay:

That’s a big jump.

Mary:

Exactly. So I went from, yeah, thinking that $25,000 was the only, you know, that’s the most I could ever raise with one single fundraiser. And then all of a sudden I’m raising a half a million dollars. Well, the only thing that changed was the organization.

And I walked into that organization and I went from, Oh, I’m now working for a billion dollar nonprofit. Oh, this is a big deal. Like now all of a sudden I have this higher expectation of what’s possible for the organization. I was like, that is a mental thing. That was me just looking at the organization and based on their branding, based on my counterparts.

And then they also told me when I was hired,  you know what? Every fundraiser who comes on with us, um, they are responsible for each raising a quarter of a million dollars. And so they had gotten it in my head from day one, and it was like, you hired me. And I am responsible for raising $250,000 now. That was not the goal.

They told me to raise 50,000. And I’m like, Whoa, you just told me that every fundraiser is a quarter of a million. So I’m not going to come in here and raise a $50,000 fundraiser, I’m going to go raise—so I immediately jumped in. I’m like, this is a billion dollar nonprofit,  we’re trying to cure cancer here, kids!

We can’t raise 50,000 and just get by. Like I’m trying to raise enough money to cure cancer. We’ve got to do something! So we actually set a million dollar goal during the recession. And that’s where I tell people that could have been a failure. That could have been seen as a failure that we, we asked, we all rallied around a million dollars and we only raised a half a million dollars.

But I was given a $50,000 goal and we ten-X’d it. So it’s all about your head and like, okay, whatever direction you want to go with this, this is the glass half full or is it half empty?   That’s up to you. But that’s why I always tell people, if you have a half a million dollars, raise—like we’re going to be talking about a million.

If I’ve got a million to raise, I’m gonna be talking about 5 million or 3 million. You know? Based on your experience, how many people, especially missionaries and other ministries and nonprofits in general. They will get to like 50, 60, 70, maybe even 80% to their goal, and then all of a sudden fizzles out and dies because you set your goal at the exact dollar amount that you need and people mentally, they want it; they want to win.

So it’s like win, win, win, win, win, and then all of a sudden you’re stalled. It just stalled out. So that’s why I always, it’s just a fundraising tactic, I guess is just the fact that I’m like, set your goal higher. That way when you get halfway there, you won.

  I think that we just are like, well; we don’t want to be inauthentic.

Yeah, but I mean let’s just say I raised a million dollars. I still had a place for that million dollars. That would have been absolutely incredible. But you know what? Half a million’s darn good. I was pretty happy with that. You know? So, so I think that sometimes we just set the bar too low and, and then we mentally knock that down on top of it saying, well, we couldn’t, gosh, we’ve never done that before.

Why would we ever be able to do it now? Yeah. So, but I’m, I’m big and what I teach inside of all the stuff that I do is I always encourage people if you don’t know anybody who’s done it, it’s hard to change that mindset. So, especially for missionaries, whenever people join that program and I say, well, okay, my, my task for you, and step number two, I want you to get to know the missionaries who are fully funded.

You don’t even have to know them by name or, I mean like know them personally, but   you know that they’ve done it. And I cannot tell you how many people cannot name three fully funded missionaries. So why do we think. That we have a problem and why people are not raising the funds that they need is because they’re not surrounding themselves with people who are actually doing it and they don’t know anyone.

So then I’m like, okay, now I’m on a mission to make sure that all of you know at least three people and have a circle that can come around you. So you’re like, well, if they can do it, I can do it too. And that’s such a mental barrier for so many people. If you don’t know somebody who’s been there, you know, it’s hard. Hard to get there.

Kay:

Yeah. Because what we’ll do then, I know in ministry or in what, you know, fill in the blank, whatever nonprofit you’re you’re in, we tend to think we’re the special ones that can’t raise the money.

Mary:

Yeah. Yep. Yeah. And that the or you know that, yeah. There’s all these excuses. So in the season that we’re in,  I mean, come on, there’s always an excuse. And when I was raising my half a million during the great recession, all my counterparts, the people that, you know, we’re used to raising a lot of money, they all were using that as their excuse.

And they’re like, well, the economy is so tough. And you know, they used to give us this kind, now they’re not. And so there’s just a lot of reasons for why you’re not doing well. And I’m like. No, you’re not. You’re not special. It’s like we all are fighting the same challenges we all are having to go up against, and I think that that’s why, like right now, during this season, when people are losing jobs or they’re having to reinvent their businesses or reinvent their nonprofits, I love this time.

This is so much fun for me because I’m like, so many people have phoned it in for so long. Then they just, they don’t know how to adapt very well, and so you have to be able to, to modify what you do for the season because in the end, your vision has not changed. The work that you have been called to do is still the same.

Who cares if you do it in a building or you do it on a video screen or you do it over the phone or whatever, like you’re still called to do the same kind of work. So that’s where I’m like, I don’t give any of my fundraisers any excuses because we just have to modify the game plan. You know, we still are going to work.

Our seven steps that I teach that is not change, but we’re going to shift maybe the way that we talk to people and the way that we approach it, and we’re just going to be sensitive during the season, but, but we need to be that way all the time. And that’s why I’m like, you don’t want to immediately jump down somebody’s throat to ask them for cash. That’s bad business anyway.   

You have to make sure that it’s a good fit, and that this is something that they actually want to hear more information about, you know? So there’s a whole lot of stuff that goes into that as well.

Kay:

Well, and I know so much of it is relationship building and when you have a relationship with people, you know, you go through good times and bad times together.

Mary:

Yes. Yeah, and I, I use the example a lot of where; you know when you are, let’s just say you’re driving in a car, you get in your car and you’re driving down the highway and all of a sudden you get a flat tire. And so, okay, you pull over on the side of the road; you pick up the phone and you call a loved one, a spouse, a friend, a family member, a parent, somebody who’s going to help you.

And you call them and you’re like, I’m stuck on the side of the road. I got a flat tire. And you’re like, ah, you know, not able to this. Change it real easy, but you call them and what is the response that they have on the other end of the phone? I’m coming for you. I’m, I’m sending a truck. I will be there.

Sit still. I’m coming for you. And that’s how every relationship should be with when somebody is raising money, is that when you’re on the side of the road and you need help. You’re raising money for whatever that need is or whatever that opportunity is. You have built such a strong relationship with that person that they’re like; you need help.

I’m here. And if you have not built a relationship   number one, you wouldn’t feel comfortable calling them. Like, I mean, I’m not, I have the phone and call somebody that I haven’t talked to in 10 years that feels uncomfortable. No, they’re not going to be like, you’re aware. Uh, why did you call me? You know?

And that’s what so many of our charities are doing with people, is that they’re calling strangers or you know, Hey, I went to high school with them like I knew them a long time ago. And I’m like, yeah. Yeah. And why should they care about your work right now?   

That has nothing to do with them. So that’s where a lot of the teaching that, both myself and my business partner, Mike, you know, we lean on is just building relationships,   putting yourself out there as the expert in a certain, in whatever field you’re in, and really delivering value to people so that they know, Oh, we care about the same thing.

And so you’re going to take care of me, I’m going to take care of you. And now it’s a win, win relationship. It’s a mutual relationship that goes back and forth and that’s where, like with pastors and ministries and like, you know, whatever it is, when a church, you know, funds a missionary, there is a vested interest in that, that this person came out of our ministry and so we want to take care of them.

We want them to succeed because we care about the people that they serve. Serve. So there’s this mutual beneficial, relationship. But that’s when, yeah, you start calling on people who are like, I don’t care about kids in Africa. I mean, they’re, I’m sure they’re great. Like, I’m, you know, we should care for orphans and widows, but that’s not my thing.

Like, I care for, you know, people who are in the foster care system in the United States. Awesome. You know? So that’s all still good, but that’s where we have to, really meet people where they’re at. But yeah, relationship relationships, it’s the key. It’s the key to everything. Okay. Okay. I don’t care. Okay. You run up his family like, I mean, come on. Love people. Well, they love you. Well, and that’s true. It goes a long ways.

Kay:

Yeah, I know. And, and it was, another program I had, uh, I don’t know if it’s a—I don’t even know where I got it—a book I read or something. And, and the question was not just what do you want from your donor? What do you want for your donor? And that really changes your thinking. It changes it from just the transaction to more of that relationship.

Mary:

Well, and many people, especially when it comes to, um,  some sort of nonprofit, they, they feel like as the organization; you are the beneficiary. You know, so like you, when I got your money, I won. But we forget that the person who has the money, who’s giving, they also went to and if I was called to the marketplace which I am right now, but like being called to the marketplace means that you will make money. You know that you’re going to get a decent job, you’re going to get paid, for your, the work that you put in. But that does not mean that I care any less about the mission field. It just so happens that God called me into the marketplace. So as a marketplace leader, I’m still compelled to want to be a part of the mission field.

So you’re helping me. So as a charity,   you’re helping me fulfill something that I already want to do and I already feel convicted about. And I’m sitting journaling about God,   how can I be a part of something bigger than myself? How can I be a good steward of the, of the money that you’ve given to me?

And so those are the kinds of questions that are going through the minds of a donor. And now. The, the nonprofit, the charities side, it’s your job to figure out how do I get them from point a to point B and get them to actually know that we’re an option, that I, I’m a solution to their problem.

You know? So, so that whole process, I think that we forget that they actually have a problem that we can solve. You know, I spoke to a guy yesterday who   he is in the marketplace and he is just. I mean wrecked, he’s wrecked about orphans. And so he adopted a child.  There’s just so much stuff that goes into that.

But he, every single day he is thinking about how do I help orphans? How do I help orphans? You know? So they’re sitting at home. And so, but that’s where, you know, the job of getting our message out there and just being really, truly authentic and genuine. And, and. Being available for people to have those conversations.

So yeah, so a lot of that, there’s the process that I teach back to that. It’s not rocket science. It’s no different than what you would think for a church or anybody else’s that you, you have to get your name out there. You got to figure out how to be known, and you just can’t do it. More, more of that so that you’re, you’re known by that group of people who would be interested in the work that you’re doing.

Kay:

Right. And it’s not always a good fit, like not everybody’s going to give to your particular charity or your particular ministry, and that’s okay.

Mary:

Yes. And you don’t need everybody. You don’t need, if everybody loved you, you would be in trouble. You can not handle that much love. Okay?   You cannot handle that many people chucking money at you.   That is a problem. So, so you only need, and I often for especially missionaries that we work with them, yeah.

What are we talking about? 50, 60, maybe a hundred okay? Maybe a hundred people that we’re talking about that could give to the work that you’re doing. And then when you’re talking about charities, and larger ministries. I mean, maybe we’re talking about 500. You know? Yeah. That seems like a lot of people, but   that’s 500 people in a world of eight bazillion like, I mean,   you don’t even need a tiny fraction to care about the work that you’re doing; you know?

So that’s where I tell people, you have a lot more power, to be intentional about who you let in. So if you can just flip the switch on that and back to that mindset shift. If you start, the glass is half full and now I’m like, Ooh, I only need 50 people. What do people do? I want to partner with?

What think people do. I want to give them access into the work that we’re doing now. It’s a whole different story because now it’s,  it’s exclusive. It’s by invitation only. They feel very special that you chose them, but as soon as you mass like put something on social media or you just talk it out to, you know, on your email list and you just send everything to everyone.

People are like, it’s the whole bystander effect.   Oh, somebody else has got that. Oh, somebody else will take care of them. Yeah, I’m sure they need that money, and I’m sure they’re doing good work, but I don’t need to be the person who gives them the money. So you can see why so many people struggle to raise any sort of dollar amount because they’re just.

I hate to use the word vomit, but you’re vomiting on everybody, your message. And then everybody’s like, well,   that was gross. You know, like that was, you know, and you, you do turn people off then and now all of a sudden it’s like we are so desperate. And that desperation, just like relationships. If somebody is desperate, you’re like, Oh, you’re going to show up at my doorstep and I’m not sure I want to hang out with you.

You might ask me for money. That’s really what we’re trying to avoid here. So yeah.

Kay:

And give people, it’s like you said earlier, people want to be part of a winning team. They want to help you across the finish line. They want to be right there with you going across the finish line, and I was thinking about even,   here we are in the. You know, we’re in this stage of the Corona virus where some States are starting to open up and we’re all in these various stages of some, some partial quarantine and coming out all this stuff.

But you think about what’s happened over the last couple of months where people are making masks and people are. Driving by hospitals and Hocking their horns and congratulating healthcare workers and grocery store workers and all of these people that have worked so hard and doing things for one another, taking groceries to, to neighbors and feeding people that have lost their jobs and, and it feels good to do that.

Part of why we’re doing it is because it’s the thing we can do to feel good about ourselves right now.

Mary:

Yeah, well, and we are hard wired. So care for each other. I mean, yeah, we want to take care of each other. We want to find a way to help. I mean, if you look at a natural disaster, like a hurricane or a tsunami or something like that, people flood organizations with money because they feel helpless and nobody wants to feel helpless.

They want to feel like they’re in charge. They’re in control, and so they step up. And it is beautiful.   I mean, that’s why whenever I see comments or, you know, I know I’ve gone on a bit of a rant here or there on,   just,   people say, Oh, our charities must be struggling right now. Oh, I’m sure they shut down.

And   all those fundraisers. Do you know? Everybody just put, push, pause, you know, just don’t do anything. And I’m like, are you stinking kidding me?   that is the last thing that is happening. You know? And maybe  some people are shutting down because they’re freaking out and they’re freezing right?

But for the ones who are innovative and the ones who are,   really looking at, Hey, our vision and our mission matters are people still need us. They’re the ones, I mean, they’re, donations have increased. They are, you know, doing their fundraisers virtually. They’re creating, you know, just about a week or so ago, they, um, uh, the whole giving Tuesday idea, you know, so that, that had come out,   it’s about eight years old and  that it’s giving Tuesday lands right in the middle between black Friday.

And,  Small business Saturday and that all that stuff. Well, they did this   giving Tuesday now day, and so they’re just like, okay, we’re going to do a giving Tuesday. And um, one organization called be the match. They raised one point $5 million on that day. They have less than a week. To pull this thing together.

Okay.   don’t say that. Oh well they’re a big organization. They had, it’s like, no, no, no.   they pulled this thing together and it was all by zoom video and they did all their, they brought in some of their past recipients. They brought in some, you know, and it was, it was incredible. They hit the news cause what’s the news talking about?

They’re all talking about the virus, you know, positive. Good news is, is definitely gonna make the media. So I just, I really want to encourage anybody who. Is a nonprofit or works with the ministry that   this is not the time to freeze and to slow down. This is absolutely the time to innovate and to,   figure out what is what, go back to the foundation of why you created this thing in the first place and realize that.

Your vision has not changed one bit. We are just going to do this a little bit differently. And you know, everybody’s trying to figure it out. So, uh, taking action is never a bad thing. So I was like, do nothing. Just do something. Talk and engage your donor base, you know, start talking to people about how they feel.

And I’ll give you real quick one piece of advice that I have given to, I’ve been on a lot of calls with a lot of ministry leaders and nonprofit leaders as well as just, um. The fact that don’t ask for money right now. Okay? Like I’m saying, Oh, money, you should this, fine. But I’m like, don’t, I’m saying don’t verbally ask for money right now.

Ask for advice. Okay? So   the whole statement I often say is if you ask for money, you’ll get advice if you ask for money. Yeah. Or I mean, if you ask for advice, you’ll get money. Okay. So if you ask for advice, people will immediately their mind back to mindset. Their mind goes right to, they need money.

I mean, you don’t have to ask it. They’re going to immediately be like, okay, you’re, you’re asking me for my advice about how should I be fundraising during the season? And they’re gonna turn around and say. Okay. That’s a good question. How should you be fundraising? And they’re going to mentally start to say, well, how would I want you to reach me.

So they’re going to   dig to the back of their mind and they’re going to be like, well, if, if I were in your shoes, how would you know?   how would I want you to, you know what? I want you to call me, but I want you to send me a letter. What I want you to check in on me, because you know, Hey, nobody’s really been checking in on me.

And that’s true. It would be nice if I got something from my favorite charity,   so they’re going to start to give you advice and then immediately their head’s going to go, you know, they’re going to lean towards the, and I should probably give them money. I mean like, cause we, we immediately need to go towards, okay, how can I help you?

And then after I figure out how can I help you, then I can start to think of how can my friends and family, how can my contacts, how can others that I know help you? But if you asked me to like, Oh, could you introduce me or could you connect me to these people and I have not given to you, I’m going to feel really uncomfortable.

So you can see how this is all just human behavior of how we respond. So yeah, ask for advice and you’ll get money. Ask for money, and you’ll get

advice.

Kay:

Yeah, that’s, it’s so true.

Mary:

Is it? I do it all the time. People will ask me for money and I’m like, do you know what I do? And I hate to, I need to be like that, but I’m like, why did you not ask me for my advice?   start with that and then I’m going to totally tell you how to ask me for money. When I give you advice, I’m going to tell you how to ask me for money.

You do that and then I am like butter in your hands because I will, and I can’t tell you how many of my students they have so totally turned my teachings on me, you know? And I’m like, I, that’s why I have to work harder because I got too many people I got to give money to because they’re actually doing what I, what I

encourage.

Kay:

you love it.

Mary:

I know it’s so hard to resist. You know,   I tell people all the time that I’m like back to the, you know, when you’re on the side of the road and somebody needs your help, well, the way that you get them to, to continue to, to   be in relationship with you is you actually communicate.

And so a lot of people, you know, I’ll say, well, how frequently do you talk to your donor base? They’re like, well, I send out quarterly newsletters, or,   we send out stuff every now and again the end of the year and whatever. And I say, how frequently do you talk to your friends and family? And they’re like, every week.

And I said, why are you not communicating with your people every week? You, you communicate with the people you love, your friends and family every week, but the people that you give to your organization, to your ministry, you’re going to talk to them quarterly. And then tell them that you love them as much as your friends and family and your call them friends when you’re like, no, you weren’t.

Not friends, not really friends because friends talk to each other every week, you know? And that’s where I think churches really do have the leg up up on stuff is because there’s a service every week. So there’s consistency. So when you say, Hey, we’re, we’re a church family, that is true. And it was, it does feel that way because you are doing life together and you are communicating every week and you’re praying for each other and you’re connecting.

But yeah, when, when we get into this, you know, Oh, we run an organization and they’re like, Oh, we want these people to give to us. I was like, no.   if you are not communicating more frequently,   why should they, why should they come to your rescue when you need help?

Kay:

Yeah. Well, it’s all part of that cycle, right? So I don’t send out a newsletter every month because I feel nervous about asking for money because the only thing I can think to say to the people is to ask them for money because I’m not building a relationship. You know, when instead I can just be sharing, sharing with them what’s, what’s going on.

Mary:

Yes. And that’s what I, some people get nervous when I’m like, Oh, you should be talking. You should be sending out an email,   once a week. That is gold standard. Right?   that’s what we teach is that it’s   weekly communication is the ideal, but don’t send out. The newsletter weekly.

That’s it. That’s too much work. Nobody’s got time for that.   nobody’s got time for that. But if you pulled back,   and just sat for one moment about what was one thing that happened in the last week that really moved me as a human really meant so much to me and made me think to myself, I’m so glad I’m doing this work.

And if you can get that one story, that one feeling down on paper to say  this happened and it may seem small. It may seem insignificant, but you know what? It just reminds me that we’re making a difference. And now all of a sudden the outsider who’s giving,   a donation who’s just getting cash, now all of a sudden it’s like.

I get to celebrate that one little thing that happened, no matter big or small,  and maybe it was a baptism or maybe it was a life transformation where they got a job and they got an apartment and they’re on their own, or they got out of this really awful domestic violence situation, whatever the big or small thing is.

  I get to say that. I was a part of that. And right now I sadly, and I don’t want to   hit on this, you know, make anybody feel bad. But we are, the leaders of our organizations and ministries are sadly so selfish that we would keep those stories to ourselves. And that we would be like, Oh God, that was such a great experience and thank you for letting me do the work that I’m doing.

And we just like, that was awesome. And that was so warm and fuzzy. And then we don’t tell our donors. And you know, so I just, that’s the thing.   instead of being like, Oh, I’m bothering them, and   Oh, who wants an email in their inbox?   flip the mindset,   you know,   shift the thinking on all that.

And just think for a moment that I am actually being extremely selfish by keeping that feel good, warm, fuzzy to myself and not saying   man, you guys. Should be celebrating that warm fuzzy with me and yes, I got to see it. I got to feel it, but I’m going to do everything in my power to get it in writing or get it in a video or a picture or something on social media.

Some way that I can communicate with you what happened and how you made a difference in how we did this together. And I think that that’s where getting back to being   truly authentic about   we are a body.   we all need each other. Some people are gonna have the finances, some people are gonna have the passion, you know, the time commitment to go and do the physical work.

But we all are in this together. Equally, no one is better than the other. And that’s what I like. Good. Get the selfish, like the, I, I.   I often tell people,   if you could just get on the way,   you could just scooch a little bit, God could do some really awesome stuff here. Like, you know, and so I think that we, it’s so personal.

It’s so like, Oh, I don’t want to look like I’m being, you know, unkind or that I’m taking up their time, or that I want their money. Like. Shift that completely and start looking at it from their perspective that they, they wouldn’t have signed up for your newsletter. They wouldn’t have asked to get more information.

If they don’t want to hear from you, unsubscribe. They don’t want to hear from you, stop following you on social media. Like they have an option to tune you out. But they said, I want to hear from you. So that is our job to make sure that we speak up and that if they don’t want to listen, that’s their choice.

But it’s our job to be obedient, to share those stories and to share, uh, the updates with them. So I hope that that’s, yeah, a little, a little bit of a shift to just think about things differently and just kind of get out of our own

way.

Kay:

Yeah, that’s huge. That’s huge. Because I think if we can get just even just that one thing, like forget all the tactics and the, you know, the, how many times do I need to post and just just shift that mindset and we would do so much better at raising the funds to do the things that hello, that God has called us.

To do so God has called us to do something, then it’s worth, it’s worth the effort. It’s worth making the mindset shift. It’s worth doing things that at first are going to feel uncomfortable and until we get out there and realize it wasn’t as scary as as we thought it was going to be.

Mary:

Well, and I think that we feel like we have to tell all the stories that we have to tell all the updates, all the information, and that’s where I want to give you permission to not tell every detail, because people just can’t consume that much information. So, you know, you got it. Asked, are you somewhere along the line, you moved into the role that you’re in because piece by piece you started to see things and you’re like, man, I really feel like I’m supposed to be doing this.

But nothing ever happened in one moment where it was like, Oh, like everything. You just learn everything about that cause you, you know, felt totally compelled to give your life over to that kind of work. Like, I mean, it was gradual. It was one story. It was one thing where you’re like, Oh my gosh. This is amazing.

I think I want to do this. Maybe I should quit my job. Maybe I shouldn’t eat it. It’s like, and it’s just, you’re, you’re slowly growing into that and that’s really what happens with anybody who financially gives to anything.   they see something, they start to gradually build a relationship, and I wish I had a magic, you know.

You know, PA potion or whatever it is to tell you that, Oh, if you post this on social media this time at this day, and this is going to be, it’s like we, I have seen God do crazy things where   he will like wake people up in the middle of the night and I tell this to all of my students. I was like. He wakes you up in the middle of the night and   and then all of a sudden you get a phone call or you call someone, you’re like, I don’t know why, but I feel like God’s telling me that I’m supposed to be a part of what you’re doing, or I’m supposed to double my donation.

I mean, during the Corona virus, I, we have a student who’s in South Africa and we jumped on a zoom call together and we were talking and he said he had two people. Wake up in the middle of the night and like, God said that I’m supposed to double my donation to you. I don’t know why. I don’t know where the money is going to come from, but I’m supposed to give you, and you know what?

He didn’t do some perfect social media posts. He didn’t do anything perfect. He just, he, he made his message, we know, and he built relationships. He did all the basics that we’re talking about here. And you know, he just. Don’t ever know what’s going to happen. I’ve had some crazy things happen off of silly things that I posted.

It was like that happened because of that. It was just like, that doesn’t even make any sense. I couldn’t ever replicate that if I tried. So, so that’s what I wanted to just give everybody permission that you do not have to be perfect and you don’t need to   you know, give all this. Yeah. Information in the sequence.

So that’s whatever. It’s   just, you know, you follow God’s lead, you’re truly authentic, but you do communicate frequently cause that’s what   friends do.

Kay:

Well, that’s, I love it because that’s what friends do. That’s, that’s all you need to remember. Uh, out of this. And about out of this podcast today, right. Just communicate because that’s what friends do. That’s how you,

that’s how you raise the

Mary:

Yeah, that’s right. And like this, I mean   you and I have known each other for a couple of years, but   every now and again you just   pop into somebody’s Facebook feed and every now and you’re like, Hey Mary, you want to come to this? You want to do, and I do the same with you.

Hey, we’re hosting this workshop. You want to come, you know, at any point you can say, no, I don’t want to go.   okay, like that’s fine.   no hard feelings   If you don’t come to something that I invited you to, Oh, well,   I hosted that birthday party. Oh, Kayden show up to the birthday party. Now I’m going to just sit and feel like the most awful person ever.

It’s like, no, like no friends. You don’t go to everything like you continue to invite. You continue to tell them about the great stuff that’s happening and sometimes they. Are free and available, and they’re like, yeah, I’ll show up to that party. Okay, great. You know? So anyways, I just think if we really kind of dumb this down a little bit back to just, this is just human behavior and how we’re wired to do life together.

And so people are going to lean in if you’re really clear and you can tell your message. Well, so I do encourage people obviously just know what you want. And then just who asked for it, like, you know, I mean, nothing’s, you can just knock on as many doors and just say, you know what? We’re trying to do this thing, and I don’t know if you want to be a part of it or not, but I just don’t want to make sure that you know that you’re invited

Kay:

Yeah. It feels good to be invited to,

Mary:

Exactly. And then you can say no and or, yes. And be like, Oh, I was chosen. They thought about, you know, that feels really, that feels really good. So anyway, yeah. But yeah, back to, yeah, we just need to do what friends do. That’s, that’s really what it all comes down to.

Kay:

Yeah, that’s for sure. Mary, thank you for saying yes to my invitation to be on

Mary:

Absolutely. Thank you for saying yes to joining my fully funded Academy, so it was beautiful. Yeah, and I mean, and if people, you know, if you’re sitting there and you’re, you’re like, I don’t know how to raise money. I don’t know how to do any of this.   reach out to me   I want to be your friend.

So I would be happy to help walk with you. And I think back to, you know, sometimes you just need to know that somebody else has already done it. You know? And once you know, like, Oh,   I’d love to run that marathon. Well, I’ve never run it before. Well, find somebody who’s run it. And magically, it just won’t be that hard.

So, you know, I’ve raised a lot of money. I’ve raised millions and millions of dollars, and so I, I, there’s a process and it’s not hard. It doesn’t cost you a lot of sleep. So I’d be happy to teach you how to do that.

Kay:

yeah. And she’s an awesome teacher. And,   I will have the links where you can connect with Mary on the show notes at  dot com and so, Mary, thank you so much.

Mary:

Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate it and good luck to all of your listeners and whatever. I know that you guys are all a part of incredible charities regardless of whether you’re running them or not. So thank you for the investment that you guys make in those ministries and organizations, so thanks.

Thanks, Kay.

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