We’ve chatted for the past two weeks about how to ask for money. Let’s finish up with three more essential tips. Read on!
1. Follow up on your requests
Don’t send an email and take silence to mean that your email was unwelcome, that you’ve been rejected, or anything along those lines. Instead, take it that people are busy and that, on top of that, certain requests (like asking for money) take time to mentally process. Simply follow up. Check in after a few days to “make sure the email arrived safely”; check in at the two-week mark; check in periodically after that. Until you are really told no, presume that a yes is still possible!
2. Use your connections and your degrees of separation
You are not only asking for money but you are also asking folks to connect you with other folks who might be approached for money. This sounds like, “John, I wonder if you know anyone who might want to support the mural project I’m involved with at the Woman’s Shelter? It’s a great and worthy project and it really needs some funding help!” Or: “Hello, everybody, my upcoming show at the Jones Gallery is fast approaching but I still need some help with frames for the show! If you know of anyone whom you think might want to help, please let them know!”
3. Remember why you are asking
You are asking not because you are a “depraved capitalist” or “an artist poor relation” or “a dilettante hobbyist” or a “bohemian parasite” or any other terrible thing that you might say to yourself (or that others might say!). You are asking because it is your intention to befriend your work and advocate for your work. Your work holds meaning for you; it means that much more to you if others connect with it. That’s why you’re asking!
It may be a shame that we have to ask for money but it nothing to be ashamed about! Our work needs us to advocate for it and part of that advocating is bravely asking for financial support.