Something Changed

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

December 12, 2010

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Categories: The Balancing Act

Non Profit Organization, United Life Foundation

This tree is a great symbol of how development works to establish good, strong roots, in order to, literally, branch out. Image via Wikipedia

I look back, and I’m not entirely sure what or when, but something changed in the last 10-15  years, and I no longer have a problem asking for money on an organization’s behalf.

It’s part and parcel due to selling books for two summers with Southwestern.

It’s part and parcel due to phone banking, professionally, for non-profits.

It’s part and parcel due to simple growing up and figuring out what I want.

No matter what, it’s interesting to me, that this something, this little trigger, this paradigm shift in my brain occurred, and suddenly, I can define myself as a Development Person.

So, as that transition progressed, I accepted a job in Development (as an Executive Assistant), I eagerly agreed to chair a fund-raising committee for the nonprofit whose board I serve. I organize a food club, and encourage people to ask for things they might not be comfortable asking.

This change that happened was simply a shift from being afraid to ask, to realizing the worst that can happen, extreme case someone yelling at you but more likely someone simply saying no, doesn’t actually hurt me. It’s their right to say no, as much as it’s my right to ask – and if I never ask, how will they ever know there’s a need?

My favorite line, slogan, mantra, for development is in the idea that you are doing someone a favor by asking for something. You are giving them the opportunity to give, something they wanted to do anyway, but might not have been thinking about it at that moment.

The irony of it all is, that I’m still a big work in progress for my own needs. It’s much easier for me to ask on behalf of someone rather than for myself!

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