Tag Archives: solicitations

The Best Kind of “Ask”

I was giving a fundraising seminar a couple of weeks ago. Most of the audience members were nonprofit CEOs, development directors, and Board members. A woman asked me, “So the other day I was sitting at Rotary with a man I knew had lots of money. But I couldn’t figure out, there at the breakfast table, how to ask him for a contribution.”

I told her that I was relieved that she hadn’t asked him for a contribution. He didn’t know the organization. He didn’t really know her. They were surrounded by other people. It was entirely the wrong setting, and he had not come to Rotary to be solicited. But the fortuitous seating arrangement was a great opportunity for her, one that she apparently hadn’t taken advantage of because she was so worried about how to ask him for a gift.

What could she have done? Continue reading

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What’s in a Name?

First, a story about my mother. It’s the kind of story I can tell, but you can’t, because she’s my mother, not yours.

My mom, who recently turned 87, is a very traditional woman of her generation. And she never quite understood that, though my wife Pat decided to take my last name when we got married in 1983, she certainly did not subsume her identity to me. So for years every time my mom sent a birthday card to Pat, she addressed it to “Mrs. Alan Cantor.” It drove both Pat and me nuts: Pat took my last name, sure, but not my first!

Then the time came when Pat earned her doctoral degree, and to mark the accomplishment my mother sent her a card. Continue reading

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