Charities need only ask for help

Columnist Carrie Coppernoll recently attended a workshop called “50 Asks in 50 Weeks” at the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, to learn more about raising money for charity. The key is deceptively simple: ask.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Staff Writer ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: December 22, 2010
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Amy Eisenstein unlocked one of the great mysteries of the universe. Turns out, a fundraising consultant from New Jersey has known the secret all along.

“Asking more frequently seems ridiculously obvious,” she said. “If you want to raise more money, even in this economy, you need to get out there and ask.”

I attended a workshop recently called “50 Asks in 50 Weeks: How to Jumpstart Your Small Development Office.” The event was hosted by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. Eisenstein is a consultant and author with expertise in fundraising. (It's Eisenstein — not Einstein, though she is very smart.)

My husband and I have been working with a group of friends for the past year to create our own nonprofit.

Oklahoma is already home to more than 19,000 nonprofits, according to the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits.

To say our “development office” is “small” is a compliment. Our development office is actually our kitchen table.

So I went to Eisenstein's workshop in Oklahoma City with high hopes for what I would learn.

How do you get donations, even in a tough economy?

Eisenstein's advice was simple: ask.

Maybe her name should be Einstein.

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