Life and Mission

Replay: Fundraising Freedom, with Mary Valloni

March 09, 2021 Kay Helm / Mary Valloni Episode 59
Life and Mission
Replay: Fundraising Freedom, with Mary Valloni
Show Notes Transcript

What's keeping your nonprofit or ministry from being fully funded?
Mary Valloni lays down some truth to help us overcome the lies we believe about money and fundraising. Plus, simple things you can do today to start your journey to Fully Funded.

Connect with Mary at maryvalloni.com and at fullyfundedacademy.com

Need a Certified Fully Funded Coach?
fullyfundedacademy.com/kayhelm

Get the book: Fundraising Freedom: 7 Steps to Build and Sustain Your Next Campaign

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. 

Support the show (https://www.paypal.me/kayhelm)

Kay Helm:

Welcome to the life and mission podcast. My name is Kay Helm, and Today my guest is Mary Villone. Yes, she has been a guest on the show before. In fact, this is a replay of the interview that we did last year. And you know what, it's one of the most popular episodes of the life admission podcast. So I wanted to bring this episode back. If you are a part of a nonprofit, or a ministry, if you are a missionary trying to raise your funds, you need to listen to this program, even if you heard it before, because Mary has some great things to say about our mindset when it comes to fundraising, and also the seven step process that she teaches. Because yes, you need a strategy for your fundraising. And we're not talking about a bunch of complicated thing. It's it's actually pretty simple. And Mary is really easy to learn from. So let's get right to the interview with my fundraising coach, Mary Villone. 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 Helm:

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 out ministries and charities raise money. So I've been doing this for Well, I feel like forever, I was the one who is 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 in 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 like, 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 in, you know, Mark, I have just a variety of ways consulting and coaching that I do to share that with other people.

Kay Helm:

Oh, yeah. And you talked about your book. I'm holding a copy of it right now 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 block.

Unknown:

Awesome.

Kay Helm:

Is that and Henry Nouwen book, the Spirituality of Fundraising, those are the two, the two books. A good one too.

Mary:

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. You know, they're they're raising money and remote locations all 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 was going to attract, but it has definitely been able to help a lot of ministries around the world. So thank you for passing it along.

Kay Helm:

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 psychology. And I'm not talking about like trick, you know, psychology tricks, like people think fundraising psychology tricks, you know, push, 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 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 their convertibles and I was wearing their hand me down clothes but it was like the 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's there's a lot of things that I've learned throughout the years but in the in the area of fundraising. My favorite thing is 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, you know, we all have different giftings. And some people are really gifted at business and in 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, to end is that I really do believe that we all deserve. We all deserve whatever God has for us. And so 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 like, awesome, let's, let's dive in. I love tackling that. Because 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 why I'm like money. If money is your biggest problem right now. I got something to tell you. Like that can be overcome, like we can tackle that that is easy on the scale of what to overcome. Now, you got other issues? How would you focus on those things? So yeah, we can take on Fender

Kay Helm:

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. Yeah. And we we are in this place where it's like, we think that some things are possible. And then we think think some things are absolutely impossible. Like, there's no way that that could ever happen. And so what happens, we don't even try, they don't even try, because we've already made up our mind that that's impossible. And that's where, like me, I'm 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 can have salutely Yeah, I'm with you on that. And

Kay Helm:

I, and I know you because you're part of you, it's you and my camp are that you have a fully funded Academy that you do, just for missionaries. And I got to be I think, among the first maybe the second group

Mary:

in it. I think, our first crew, yeah, we opened it in February of 2018. So wherever you landed in that mix, so it's been a couple years now.

Kay Helm:

But yeah, it's amazing, because you do you walk through and these seven steps that you lay out in your book, you're walking through this group, through those steps, and teaching some of the skills and everything. But again, going back to the mindset, we did the workshop last year, together, and you the very first thing you got up and you said, Okay, let's deal with the stuff in the head right? up front. 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 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 Wickliffe. 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, 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 Paul, 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,

Unknown:

I'm not talking about that,

Mary:

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 that if I if I drive that kind of car, then people are gonna think this sort of thing. And then that's gonna, 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. It's like, oh, like, that is not how this works. fear

Kay Helm:

of man 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, then 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 vent. They have been so hurt. I mean, a lot of them have been really hurt by the church by things that have been said. 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, and you're not going to find a picture of me smoking outside the building. like it'd be like, I mean, number one, I will never and have never smoked. But, but that is like, 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 may who had money didn't provide, there's just lots of different things that are going on in our head. So yeah, I try and knock that right at its knees right at the beginning, because 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. So it's like, I mean, when I raised that half a million dollars with the American Cancer setting 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 Helm:

That's a big jump.

Mary:

Exactly. So I went from Yeah, thinking that $25,000 was the only cut, 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, they are responsible for each raising a quarter of a million dollars. And so they had gotten it in my head from day one, it was like you hired me. And I'm responsible for raising $250,000. Now, that was not the goal. They told me to raise 50,000. And I'm like, woo, you just told me that every fundraiser is the quarter million. So I'm 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 can't raise 50,000. And just get by, like, I'm trying to raise enough money to cure cancer, we 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 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 tend to exit. Yeah, so it's all about your head and like, okay, whatever direction you want to go with 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 raised, like, we're going to be talking about a million if I got a million to raise, I'm gonna be talking about 5 million or 3 million. Because, you know, based on your experience, how many people especially missionaries, and other ministry, you know, and nonprofits in general, they will get to like 50 6070, maybe even 80% to their goal, and then all of a sudden, fizzles out and dies. Yeah. Because you set your goal at the exact dollar amount that you need. And people mentally they want to they want to win. So it's like Win, win, win, win, win, and then all of a sudden, you're stale. It just scaled out. So that's why I always say 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 one.

Unknown:

Yeah.

Mary:

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 darn good. I was pretty happy with that, you know, so. So I think that sometimes we just set the bar too low. 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? Right? So but 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 task for you and step number two, I want you to get to know three 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. Yeah. 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? Yeah. 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're like, well, if they can do it, I can do it too. And that's such a mental, you know, 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 Helm:

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. Yeah, yeah.

Mary:

Yeah. And or, you know, that, yeah, there's all these excuses. Yeah. So in the season that we're in, I mean, come on, there's always an excuse. And when I was raising my half million during the Great Recession, all my counterparts, the people that, you know, were 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, like, you're not, you're not special. 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 found it in for so long, that 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 what I'm 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 this season, but but we need to be that way all the time. And that's why I'd like you don't want to immediately jump down somebody's throat and 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 whole lot of stuff that goes into that as well.

Kay Helm:

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

Mary:

yeah. And 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, you know, not able to just 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 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. Yeah. And and if you have not built the relationship, number one, you wouldn't feel comfortable calling them like, Mom, I mean, I'm not getting the phone and call somebody that I haven't talked to in 10 years that feels uncomfortable. No, they're not gonna be like you're aware. 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, 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 seed, because we care about the people that they 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, you know, 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. You run a business Yeah. Family for like, I mean, come on. Love people. Well, they love you. Well, and manna bestir goes a long ways.

Kay Helm:

Yeah, I know. And it was another program I had, I don't know if it's, 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? Yeah, 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 some sort of nonprofit, 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, or you're the work that you put in. But that does not mean that I care any less about the mission field. Right? 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, and how can I be a part of something bigger than myself? How can I be a good steward 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 it's the nonprofit, the charity 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? Yeah, that I am 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? Yeah. You know, I

Unknown:

spoke

Mary:

to a guy yesterday who he is in the marketplace, and he is

Unknown:

just,

Mary:

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 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 he just keep doing 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 Helm:

right? And it's not always a good fix, 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. Like, you cannot 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, what are we talking about? 5060, maybe 100? Okay, maybe 100 people that we're talking about that could give to the work that you're doing? And then when you're talking about charities or 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 a 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, but to be intentional about who you let in. Yeah. So if you can just flip the switch on that and go back to that mindset shift. If you start the glass is half full. And now I'm like, Oh, I only need 50 people, what 50 people do I want to partner with? what other 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 exclusive. It's by invitation only. They feel very special that you chose them. But as soon as you mouse like put something on, so Social media are huge. Check it out, you know, on your email list and you just send everything to everyone. People are like, it's the whole bystander effect.

Unknown:

Somebody else has got that. Yeah.

Mary:

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, Oh, that was gross. You know, like that was, you know, and 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 gonna show up at my doorstep? And I'm not sure I want to hang out with you. You might ask me for money. You know, that's, that's really what we're trying to avoid here. So

Kay Helm:

yeah, get 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 Coronavirus were 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 honking their horns and congratulating healthcare workers and grocery store workers and all 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 hardwired to care for each other. Yeah, I mean, that 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 vague comments, or you know what I know, I've gone on a bit of a rant here or there on just people saying, oh, our charities must be struggling right now. Oh, I'm sure they shut down. And all those fundraisers, you know, everybody just put it 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. But for the ones who are innovative, and the ones who are really looking at, hey, our vision and our mission matters. Our people still need us. They're the ones I mean, their donations have increased. They are you know, doing their fundraisers, virtually. They're creating, you know, just about a week or so ago, they the whole Giving Tuesday idea, you know, so that that had come up. 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 gonna do Giving Tuesday and one organization called Be The Match, they raise $1.5 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, because what's the news talking about? They're all talking about the virus, you know, positive good news is is definitely going to 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 taking action is never a bad thing. Sounds like do something just do something talk, 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 me I've been on a lot of calls with a lot of ministry leaders and and nonprofit leaders as well as just 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. 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, 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 gonna immediately be like, okay, you're, you're asking me for my advice about how should I be fundraising during this season? And they're going to turn around and say, okay, that's a good question.

Unknown:

How should you be fundraising?

Mary:

And they're going to mentally start to, you know, say, Well, how would I want you to reach me? 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 what 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 sure 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 heads gonna go, you know, they're gonna lean towards the end, I should probably give them money. I mean, like, because 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 ask me, they're like, oh, could you introduce me? Or could you connect me to these people? And I have not given to you? I'm gonna feel really uncomfortable. Yeah. 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 asked for money, and you'll get advice. That's why that's

Kay Helm:

so true.

Unknown:

Is that I do it

Mary:

all the time, people will ask me for money. And I'm like, do you know what I do? And I hate to I hate 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, now I'm like, 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 and you 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 continue to to be in relationship with you is you actually communicate. So a lot of people, you know, 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? Like every week? I said, Why are you not communicating with your people every week, 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 you're going to call them friends. When you're like, no, you're not friends. 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 on stuff is because there's a service every week. So there's consistency. So when you say hey, we're a church family, that is true. Yeah. And 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 it 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? So yeah,

Kay Helm:

well, it's all part of that cycle. Right? So I don't send out a newsletter, you know, 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 could just be sharing sharing with them what's what's going on?

Mary:

Yes. And that's what I saw people get nervous. And 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 those weekly communication is the ideal, but don't send out the newsletter, weekly. That's that's too much work. Nobody's got time for that. Nobody's got time for that. But if you pull back on just sat for one moment about what was one thing that happened in the last week that really moved me as a human like 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 is 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. Yes. 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 and 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 going to have the finances, some people are going to 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 why I like good. Get the selfish, like the I often tell people, if you could just get on the way, you could just scooch a little bit, God can do some really awesome stuff here. You know, and so I think that we, it's so personal, it's so like, 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. Yeah, they 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 the updates with them. So I hope that that's Yeah, a little, little bit of a shift to just think about things differently and just kind of get out of our own way.

Kay Helm:

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 I need to post that there's 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 if God has called us to do something that it's worth, it's worth the effort, it's worth making the mindset shift, it's worth doing things that at first are gonna feel uncomfortable. And until we get out there and realize it wasn't as scary as as we thought it was gonna be.

Mary:

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 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 every you just learned 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 really like, Oh my gosh, this is amazing. I think I want to do this, maybe I should quit my job. Maybe I should 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, 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 gonna 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 my students. I was like, he wakes you up in the middle of the night and then all of a sudden you get a phone call or you call something 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 Coronavirus 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. God call it said that I'm supposed to double my donation to you, I don't know why I don't know where the money is gonna come from, but I'm supposed to give you and you know what, he didn't do some perfect social media post, he didn't do anything perfect. He just, 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 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 why I want to just give everybody permission that you do not have to be perfect. And you don't need to, you know, give all this information in this sequence or this, whatever. It's just, you know, you follow God's lead, you're truly authentic. But you do communicate frequently. Because that's what friends do.

Kay Helm:

That that's I love it. Because that's what friends do. Yeah, that's, that's all you need to remember out of this, about this podcast today. Right? just communicate, because that's what friends do. That's how you that's how you raise money.

Mary:

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, you know, feed and every now and you're like, Hey, hey, 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? Like, you know, at any point, you can say no, I don't want to go. Okay, like, that's fine. No hurt feelings. If you don't come to something that I invited you to Oh, well, I hosted that birthday party, oh, Caden show 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, you know, 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 go ask 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 want to make sure that you know that you're invited.

Kay Helm:

Yeah. And to be invited to.

Mary:

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

Kay Helm:

Yeah, that's for sure. All right. Thank you for saying yes. To my invitation to be on the

Mary:

show. Thank you for saying Yes. Did you already 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 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. 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. magically, it just won't be that hard. So, you know, I've raised a lot of money, I raise millions and millions of dollars. And so 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 Helm:

Yeah, she's an awesome teacher. And I will have the links where you can connect with Mary on the show notes at life and mission calm. And so Mary, thank you so much. Yeah, I

Unknown:

thank you. I

Mary:

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.

Kay Helm:

It's always great to talk with Mary Filoni, and it's no wonder that this has been one of the more popular episodes of the life admission podcast. So if you would like more information about Mary Villone, you can go to Mary vilonia comm or also to fully funded academy.com. And that's the fundraising program for missionaries. If you would like some personal attention from me and helping you go through the fully funded program, you can go to fully funded academy.com slash Kay Helm, that's k YHL m because I am a fully funded certified coach. So until two weeks from now when we have another new episode, this has been the life admission podcast. I'm Kay Helm, find your voice, tell your story. Change the world.