Will Raise Money for Sanity: Keeping Healthy Boundaries

Will Raise Money for Sanity: Keeping Healthy Boundaries

water fountain with water spurting upward distinctly from each of five spigots

Will raise money for sanity: keep healthy boundaries. Although it’s easy to fall into a victim or an oppressor mentality when fundraising, there’s a third option: mutual empowerment. This requires knowing your boundaries and keeping to them, especially with something as “wiggly” and watery and flowing as money. Image from Wikimedia Commons: Dori.

The “Will Raise Money for Sanity” Pledge

I encourage you to take this pledge:

I will raise money for sanity.  If raising money makes me insane, I will not do it. I will raise money in a way that is sane for myself and the other people involved.

When we’re raising money, it’s easy to fall into a victim or an oppressor mentality. But we can make “will raise money for sanity” our watchword instead.

Why Raise Money for Sanity?

When you raise money for sanity, you join a league of people who have committed to a way of doing things that increases peace and love in the world–especially around money, which is vital.

You are twin souls with all these people when it comes to our soul/sole priority: peace, love, and sanity (especially around money, which did I mention? is vital).

I have gotten to the point, after 31 years fundraising for phenomenal causes (and things that are not even causes yet) that I believe

how you raise money is more important than what you raise it for.

(And what you raise it for is super- important to me, as you know if you’ve ever consulted with me.)

Nothing’s More Important Than Your True Sanity

This topic is so important that it’s the only fundraising workshop I’m giving at the zillionth annual Communities Conference this weekend. In designing my offering, I was allowed free rein. The only constraint was that it be a helpful workshop on marketing, promotion, crowdfunding or fundraising.

Given free rein, this is what I want to talk about, to teach, and to do. Here are the three steps I’ll share.

Are You A Victim?

The first step to raising money for sanity is to notice if you are acting out of a victim mentality. Big clue: you are consistently resentful and feel powerless when you are fundraising.

If that’s your deal, and you want a start bootstrapping yourself out of it, try this article I published a few years ago in the all-time best fundraising resource ever, The Grassroots Fundraising Journal, which no longer publishes, but the article downloads just fine when you click on that link.

Note: it’s not only fundraisers who fall into the victim mentality! Donors can too. When you give, do you feel resentful or powerful? Hint: You should feel powerful, but not like an oppressor. There’s a difference between the feeling of having power-with (healthy) and having power-over (unhealthy).

Regardless of whether you’re a victim donor or a victim fundraiser, you may benefit from clarity on the victim archetype.

Are You an Oppressor?

The second step to raising money for sanity is noticing if having, raising, or giving money makes you act like an oppressor. Big clue: you think people should do what you want rather than what they agreed to do because you’re the one giving the money OR raising the money. If you avoid negotiating the details of who does what with money you’ve raised or given, my hunch is it’s because you’re afraid to let go of control. You’re sort of a closet victim but you show fear by seeking control. For clarity on this oppressive archetype known as the Tyrant in moneycoaching, click here.

Or Are You All About Transformation, Including with Money?

Rather than be a victim or an oppressor, we can each learn to transform how we see and give and raise. Anyone can heal. No Tyrant is too crusty, no Victim too torn up inside that they can’t change. The Magician archetype is the most powerful one I know to go for when we want a positive approach to money–and in fact, when it comes to sharing any resource.

The Magician fundraiser is all about mutual empowerment through giving and raising money for a cause of shared importance.

The Magician fundraiser is empowered by asking for money for a cause of importance to herself and her donor. The Magician donor is empowered by giving to that cause.

You can fundraise from the perspective of an empowered asker who contributes to the empowerment of a donor just by asking them, no matter what their response is.

If You Can’t Make the Workshop

My workshop will help identify and keep sane clear boundaries when you are raising money, no matter how you are doing it or what you plan to use the money for (as long as it’s ethical and genuinely important to you).  It will also be helpful to donors. Participants will come away with a clearer understanding of

  • what’s your job and what’s not when it comes to raising money
  • how to take responsibility for your job–and let go of what’s not
  • the boundaries you want to set when fundraising
  • what kinds of fundraising nauseate you and
  • what kinds feel ok or even good to you.


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