Monday, September 28, 2009

It is hard to ask your friends for money

Like many people I'm not as active as I should be. Too much time sitting here I expect. I try to run but am not that disciplined about it. So when I was asked to run 5km on my first week in a new job the physical challenge was one I embraced. When I was asked to raise a minimum $250.00 in pledges for the privilege of this challenge my immediate response was 'oh I couldn't do that.' After all I hadn't even started working there.

Upon reflection it occurred to me that Ontario Nature had just hired me to help them raise millions of dollars and I just said no to personally raising $250.00. hmmmm.... perhaps I should try. So I doubled the goal and made a commitment to raise $500.00

Then I asked you to help me impress my new boss, staff and board by making a pledge of support. Thanks to many of you I exceeded my goal and raised $731.00.

This is a relatively small amount of money in our world but do not underestimate the impact it has had. In almost ten years as a professional fundraiser, I have never solicited funds personally. And yet, I ask fundraising volunteers to do this all the time.

Reaching out to my personal network and asking for money has helped me better understand the courage, passion and generosity of these extraordinary volunteers. It takes guts to ask your friends for money. We 'professionals' should never take this for granted.

I was able to finish the 5km although I confess to having to walk a little around the 3km mark. Exactly in the spot where I met the Chair of the Board for the first time as he went racing past me! (So much for good impressions!)

If you have never participated in a huge event like this I encourage you to registered for one now. There is something incredibly inspiring about thousands of people with various physical abilities, ages and backgrounds pushing themselves for something they believe in.

Yesterday was a life altering experience for me. I am determined to keep running and keep working on getting my time down. Surely with a little effort I can beat my personal best of 42 minutes 23.1 seconds.

Mostly though I'm deeply grateful to those of you who made a donation. Because of you I have a deeper appreciation of not just how hard it is to ask your friends and colleagues for money but also to know first hand how good it feels when they say yes.

Because of you I'm a better fundraiser then I was yesterday. Thank you.

Thank you for spending time here.

PS There was one anonymous donation. I respect that. This blog post is for you too.