For our Philanthropy and Grant Making class, we were each assigned to come up with a list of at least 10 potential stakeholders and choose at least 1 to invite to lunch and make an “ask” for a cause we believed in. I believe that this assignment is important because it teaches us the importance of making personal “asks;” without personal “asks,” CBO’s would not be as successful as they are because they wouldn’t be able to run as effectively and accomplish as much without the generous donations from organizations and individuals.
I was really concerned as soon as we were given this assignment because I have never been good at asking for stuff, much less for money. I grew up being taught that you don’t go around asking people for money or donations; you have to work for and earn everything that you get. For this reason, I have always been extremely uncomfortable going out and asking people to donate their money or other things. I would honestly be much more comfortable asking for people to donate their time to a cause that I believe in and then, if they feel that they connect with the cause, it’d be much easier asking for tangible donations.
For this assignment, I have decided to ask for donations for my sorority’s annual Latina Youth Leadership Conference. It is an annual conference that we put on every year for middle school and high school girls from the area. At this conference, we host workshops that teach the students anything from self-esteem and that they are beautiful, to teaching them how to get to college and what classes to take. LYLC, as we call it, fulfills our sorority’s philanthropy of helping out the Latino community and helping them to attain a higher education. My sorority has a 501(c)3 designation so it would fulfill the requirements for this assignment. I believe that it would be easier to make “asks” for Lambda Theta Nu’s LYLC because I can reach out to many different sisters and alumnae for donations, and, since they are all extremely familiar with the cause since this is a national event that every chapter hosts annually, they would be more likely to want to donate. I have already reached out to several alumnae, since I am both the President and Alumnae Chair for my chapter, and have received several different donations of food and supplies.
This assignment of making stakeholder spreadsheets and making actual “asks” to people definitely helps to push people out of their comfort zones. I hope that with time, I can become better at this skill through making for “asks” to people for causes that I believe in.