For Impact


Raising Money With Martial Arts Wisdom

On Prospects | | Nick Fellers

It happens at every organization, every day, every where. A founder, executive director or fundraiser is trying to gather the support (financial and otherwise) from someone, such as a board member or community leader. He or she should be the perfect prospect and easy visit… instead we get ‘objections’.

I’ve always struggled with this concept: objections. We have a terrific opportunity. The people with whom we visit WANT to SAVE LIVES, CHANGE LIVES and IMPACT LIVES. What are widely viewed as objections are more often (1) real questions, (2) ways of saying “I don’t understand” or sometimes even (3) “I don’t understand but I want to help so let me suggest a lot of stuff that I’ve seen work elsewhere.”

How you address these situations is critical. For that, turn to philosophy + martial arts. Turn to Aikido. Aikido translated literally means “the way of harmony of life energy”. It’s a form of martial arts in which you join incoming thrusts and redirect them with minimal effort and without inflicting harm on the aggressor. According to Aikido’s founder it is literally the Art of Peace.

If you get a zinger of a question or a response that could take you off course – work with it. Don’t try to ‘oppose it’. Don’t get defensive. Raising your hands to block a person means you absorb the blow… you literally have to push back with equal and opposite force (wasted energy) to absorb the blow. Instead, practice Aikido and redirect the incoming zinger back to your impact, your message or your plan.

Note: Politicians practice Aikido every day. Watch ANY primary debate with questions. Instead of getting defensive when a tough question is asked the Politcian redirects toward his or her message.