Courtney Spence on How Confidence in Fundraising Inspires Investors

In Chapter 14 of 15 of her 2010 Capture Your Flag interview, non-profit executive and Students of the World founder Courtney Spence answers "Why is it important to learn to ask for money for something you believe in?" Spence discusses how to improve confidence and results asking for charitable and donor contributions. A confident ask comes from a clear definition of purpose in why you do what you do. The experience asking for financing or contributions teaches a fund raiser the extent he or she values the cause or campaign. When conviction exists, the resulting confidence in the "ask" translates into a more responsive and engaged investor and donor base.


Erik Michielsen: Why is it important to learn to ask for money for something you believe in?

Courtney Spence: It’s important because you will most likely do that for the rest of your life in some way, shape or form and I think it’s something that people are not comfortable with initially, I mean very few people are like ‘Yes, I will go and ask people for money and that’s great’. No, I mean I think it’s something that makes people uncomfortable, it makes people embarrassed, it makes people shy… but that’s if you look at it as if you’re asking someone to, like I said, for charity or for a donation, asking someone to invest in something you believe in is a powerful thing for you because it teaches you how, how much, how important that issue is to you, it teaches you why you value what you value, it makes you take a step back and by like ‘why – if I’m going to put myself out there I’ve got to know why I’m putting myself out there’. I think it teaches you that, you know, when we talk to our students about raising money, because they do raise money for their percentage of their participation in the trip, so when we talk to our students we say ‘you know the more that you ask people to invest in what you’re doing the more people actually care and the impact that you can make will be greater because people are a part of what you’re doing. They’ll follow your blog, they’ll want to see your final video because they were a part of it’ so it sort of broadens your community in a sense because people are involved and engaged. So you have to look at it as it’s not just a donation or a hand out it’s just asking people to become a part of a community that believe in what you believe in and if you what you believe in is a good thing, I think that’s a good thing.