I was talking to a Nonprofit Nation member recently. She was telling me how her nonprofit has just had a record year. She was amazed that it was in the middle of 2020, the year of COVID-19. She said that she felt things were just lining up for her organization.
As I talked to her, I realized that it was more about a mindset. It was the mindset of abundance versus the mindset of scarcity. A scarcity mindset focuses on what you don’t have. An abundance mindset shifts your focus to what you have. There are very few guarantees that I can give in this business. One guarantee that I can give with 100% accuracy is that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. In today’s times, I have been in Facebook groups for nonprofits and have seen a variety of outcomes. Some nonprofits talk about how it’s been the best year ever in terms of raising money. And some nonprofits have grumbled that it is the worst fundraising year ever and they may have to close their doors. As I have looked at these different organizations, it became very apparent to me that the difference was a mindset of abundance or a mindset of scarcity.
So what is a mindset of abundance? The abundance mindset says people are generous. People will give. There is enough for everyone. I will ask. The thing about mindsets is that once we decide on one, it is really a self-fulfilling prophecy. Why? Because once we decide to focus on being intentional, to be consistent self-talking in one mindset, we wind up only seeing the results of that particular mindset. So, if I believe in abundance, then what I see around me is abundance. And so I can very easily reinforce the idea that people are generous. People will give. There is enough for everyone. And I will ask. Now when you have a scarcity mindset, you see a lack of resources. So for you, times are bad. Everyone is in need. No one will give. I will not ask. And so this loop keeps looping in your mind and in your decisions which in turn means that you don’t ask, you don’t get, and eventually your finances suffer. Really, the mindset you adopt tells me more about your relationship with money than your donor’s relationship with money.
So it comes down to those organizations that ask and ask sensitively, receive. Those organizations that decided that things were so bad they weren’t going to ask did not receive. It really is that simple.
I was thrilled to hear that this Nonprofit Nation member had chosen years ago a mindset of abundance. Because for years, she has been doing the things that needed to be done, day in and day out, to help build her fundraising. It might have seemed like all of this came to be this year suddenly, but the truth is that she had been building those relationships for years. She had been putting ideas into motion years ago. It just so happened that this year is when it all came together. Fundraising isn’t a one-and-done thing. Fundraising isn’t a 5-meter dash. Fundraising is a marathon. It takes time to build. It takes effort to do, but it is so worth it in the end.
What mindset do you have? Here is an exercise to help you figure that out from the article The Abundance Loop: How to Develop a Powerful Abundance Mentality That Attracts Wealth Effortlessly by Juliana Park, CFP.
Exercise: Developing An Abundance Mentality – Taking Inventory of Your Money Beliefs
- Now it’s your turn. Take your journal out and write the word MONEY in big letters across the top. Write down the words that jump into your mind about money. Don’t censor yourself. Allow yourself to jot down whatever words, phrases, or images that come to your mind, without judgment. There are no right or wrong words, just your truth. Give yourself time and space to let your thoughts flow. Some of it might be scary or ugly—just let it flow.
- Next, reflect on each word you wrote down. Ask yourself: Is this how I truly feel about money itself? Or is it about the lack of money? I want you to notice how each word makes you feel. If the word makes you feel tense and constricted, write “ugghh” next to it. If the word makes you feel open and expansive, write “ahhhh” next to it.
- Now tally up how many “ugghhs” you have compared to “ahhhhs.” Don’t be hard on yourself if your list of words is all negative. Facing your deep-seated beliefs with honesty and compassion requires a sincere effort and is the key to developing an abundance mentality. Take pride that you are doing it. You are unveiling the underlying mindset that impacts your financial wellbeing.
- The good news is that now you are starting to identify your fears so you can master them. By reading this article and going through these exercises, you are taking a stand that you will no longer live in fear and confusion. You are ready to move forward and take action to align with your best self and your inherent abundance mentality. Celebrate this moment!
- If most of your words give you a sense of relaxation and happiness, celebrate this wonderful blessing—you already have an abundance mentality about money. You can move forward with gratitude and are ready to interact with money in a way that reflects your core values and manifest wealth.
So, what mindset are you adopting today? Are you going to start looking for the abundance around you or are you going to look for the resources you lack?