The Power of the Ask

“Just ask.” That’s my new motto.

A few years ago when Pam Stallsmith and I were co-chairing the 2007 NFPW conference, we knew we needed to raise funds. I’m not really good about asking for money, but if you don’t ask, you definitely won’t get anything. And so taking Pam’s advice to “just ask,” I began my calls.

And then, I asked.

And most everyone gave.

As I was preparing to become president, I needed to find members to serve on the appointed board. Pam reminded me, “Just ask.”

Our members want to be asked. More importantly they understand the power of making NFPW stronger.

I called Teresa Ford in Colorado and asked if she would design our newsletter. I had been impressed by the design of the NFPW conference program in Colorado, which she had designed. I gave her time to think about it.

When I called back she said she was busy but would do it because she, too, is involved with volunteer groups and it’s hard to get people to volunteer. She didn’t want to be the one who didn’t.

I asked Linda Koehler to edit the newsletter. Texas was only her second conference but we had spoken last year — we connected because she is from my home state of Pennsylvania. She said yes.

Marianne Wolf-Astrauskas offered several excellent suggestions during our general meeting on membership. So… I asked her to join the board spearheading membership. She was a tough sell because she wanted to be sure we (or should I say I) was going to do what I said I would do as president. But I asked, and she said yes.

And so I’ll continue to ask.

I hope you’ll answer.

One New Member

Times are tough, and one of the first areas to be cut are membership dues. Businesses cut the expense and members often do, too. But don’t!

Think about what you are getting. NFPW connects you with about 1,500 other communicators. I can’t tell you how often I’ve reached out to members when I needed to hire a freelance writer or learn how to do something. Members also have helped guide me through the often murky waters of a job hunt or a new job.

Leadership opportunities abound. I cut my teeth on a newsletter for my state affiliate. I learned event planning because I coordinated several state conferences and, eventually, was co-director of the 2007 NFPW conference. Those skills translated when I had to coordinate quarterly awards ceremonies, National Night Out events, and milestone celebrations as part of my “other duties” in my job description.

So I hope you’ll renew when it comes time in the next several weeks. But more importantly, I hope that you will bring in a new member. Carol Clark, our newly elected secretary, came up with the campaign of “One New Member.” Your NFPW board committed to it — each of us is recruiting one new member. And those who attended the NFPW banquet Saturday night in San Antonio also heard the same challenge. 

Bring in one new member next year. Let’s grow this organization and share our resources, know-how, and networking with others.

Are you up to the challenge?