Amanda Palmer, former frontwoman of the Dresden Dolls and now an acclaimed solo performer, doesn’t look to record labels to fund her projects anymore. She turns directly to her fans . . . the people most invested in her success. In her book The Art of Asking and 2013 TED talk with the same name, Palmer makes several recommendations that prove useful for fundraisers of all stripes.
- “Give and receive fearlessly. But, more important, ask without shame.”
This is pretty straightforward. Ask directly and with the confidence that to ask is as much about giving as it is taking.
2. “When we really see each other, we want to help each other.”
This applies to organizations, too. That’s why it’s so important to get to the heart of what you do and why you do it – when people see the passion behind your work, they’ll get it. And they’ll support what you do.
- “People have been obsessed with the wrong question, which is ‘how do we make people pay for it?’ What if we started asking, ‘how do we let people pay for it?’”
Recognize that people want to help, to be involved, to give. An arts organization I used to work with had one dedicated donor who would call the office in slight irritation if we went too long without asking her for a contribution. You can’t count on everyone to be so proactive about it, but there are people waiting to be asked.
– Jennifer Clements