Money Mindset and How It Affects Fundraising w/ Rhea Wong

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September 13, 2022

Last Updated:

October 25, 2022

Does talking about money give you a panicky feeling?

​For many of us, complicated and old beliefs around money can make fundraising even more stressful than it already is.

​But - it doesn't have to be!

​In this 1-hour partner webinar with Rhea Wong from Rhea Wong Consulting, we'll dive into how to reframe our relationship with money to achieve more success in fundraising and asking.

In this webinar, you'll learn:

  • ​How to become aware of your relationship with money
  • Where our money stories come from
  • Tactics for creating different narratives

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Create your Instrumentl account using the link above. Save $100 off your first month should you decide to upgrade when your trial expires with the code RHEA100.

About Rhea Wong

WHAT I DO: I help Executive Directors and development staff build out individual major gift programs in order to raise more money.

HOW I DO IT: I do this by bringing in my 15+ years of fundraising experience to help you tweak your message, clarify your ideal donor, engage your board, streamline your processes, and make an effective ask. With me, you'll get clarity and a plan to move your individual donor program forward.

WHY IT WORKS: This isn't "hit it and quit it" fundraising. This is about building partners for the long-term by engaging people's hearts and minds. By clarifying your message and breaking your actions into bite-sized pieces, you will stop being overwhelmed and start getting resources in the door.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: "Rhea is a talented, engaging instructor who has created a great executive cohort coaching program. The program is full of helpful content, exercises, and real-world tips! Highly recommend!" Aya Esther Hayashi, Development Manager, People's Theatre Project.

"Joining Rhea's inaugural training cohort couldn't come at a better time for our organization, as we are working to build a mid-major and major donor program and increase the number of sustaining donors and it has been a struggle to understand the process by which to achieve this. Rhea's methodology is simple, yet insightful, and helped me to understand that by making slight changes to how I approach my work it's possible to land major donors...You will walk away from this training with more confidence and knowledge about how to land major donors and personalize your stewardship efforts." - Nadya Dutchin, Co-Executive Director, Power Shift Network.

WHO I WORK WITH: I've helped leaders of small nonprofit organizations build their pipeline and align their resources to raise more money.

READY TO TALK? Reach out to me directly here on LinkedIn or visit or listen to my podcast Nonprofit Lowdown and join the conversation here.

EXPERTISE: Leadership coaching/Fundraising/Executive Coaching/Marketing/Branding for fundraising.

Instrumentl Partner Webinars are collaborations between Instrumentl and its community partners to provide free educational workshops for grant professionals. Our goal is to tackle a problem grant professionals often have to solve, while also sharing different ways Instrumentl’s platform can help grant writers win more grants. Click here to save a seat in our next workshop.

Click the video link below to start watching the replay of this free grant workshop, or check out the transcriptions below the video.

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Money Mindset and How It Affects Fundraising w/ Rhea Wong - Transcription

Celia: All right. Hello, everyone, and welcome to Money Mindset and How It Affects Fundraising with Rhea Wong. So, this workshop is being recorded. We will share the slides and the recording with you afterwards. So, definitely keep your eyes open for an email for me in case you want to review anything or share anything from today.

If you're just joining, people are dropping some info about themselves in the chat. So, feel free to do that. Also using the chat, we'd love questions. So, feel free to drop your questions throughout the presentation. We'll try to get to as many as we can. I just ask you to add three hashtags in front of your questions. And that just makes it really easy for me to find. And we will be sure not to miss it.

If this is your first time here, this is an Instrumentl partner webinar. So, these are collaborations between Instrumentl and our partners, like Rhea, to provide free educational information to grant professionals and non-profits. So, our goal with these workshops is very similar to our overarching goal as a company here at Instrumentl. And that is, really, to support grant writers and non-profits with the tools and insights that they need to be able to find more funding while doing less work.

What does that mean? Well, it means we're a little bit obsessed with efficiency. Our grant prospecting tracking and management tool brings all of that work into one place. And it saves folks about three hours a week while increasing grant output by about 78% in the first year.

So, how do we do that? Well, a couple of things before we hop into thinking about our money mindset. Well, we first make sure you find good fit funders. So, that's where we got to start. Right? We have over 12,000 active opportunities on the platform, and we're adding a couple 100 a week. And our unique matching algorithm is sort of like a personal assistant working for you in the background. So as you are going about your sort of various fundraising activities, whether that's individual donor campaigns or finding and writing grants, or something totally different, the Instrumentl platform will be working for you in the background making sure that you never miss a deadline and that you always have access to new opportunities that will come directly to your email inbox once a week. So, that is kind of where we start.

But, of course, finding is only going to be part of the battle. Right? In my experience, the actual evaluation and prioritization of grants is kind of a time suck. Right? So especially, if you want to be thorough and we always want to be as thorough as we can. Right?

So, some people do really love 990 data. I think it's fantastic data. But if you're used to those forms, you know how much work it takes to try to figure out somebody's handwriting on a badly scanned PDF. So instead, we are using some really fun visualization tools to simplify all of those trends, give you multiple year information, rather than just one single data point.

So up on the screen, you'll see a couple of those. We've got our sort of median and average giving amount from this specific foundation. We also have a heat map that shows us where this specific foundation is focused geographically. And then finally, we have a good sense of what this foundation thinks about in terms of repeat versus new grantees so we can understand really quickly if this is a competitive opportunity or something that's relatively open for me to apply to. And those are just a couple of those things. Because once you actually prioritize, then you've got to communicate with your team. You’ve got to make sure everybody's on the same page. Right?

So, our project management tool allows us to really quickly assign tasks, assign keynotes, store documents and templates. And all of that is going to be right alongside your RFP and funder information so that you can be sure that everybody has the info they need to be able to write and submit and report on a proposal or on a grant opportunity.

And then finally, we want to make sure that you can track everything after you win all those awards. We want to make sure that you know what's going on, you never miss a reporting deadline, and you can maintain that really solid relationship with your funders. So, we've got tools that allow us to really visualize everything that's coming up. Whether that's in a ListView or a calendar view with all your deadlines and internal due dates, we just make reporting easy and quick so that you can very easily show your board or your director what exactly is going on and what your progress looks like.

So, that is just a very few things. I do not want to take up any more time because we are here to talk about our money mindsets. If you're interested in trying out Instrumentl, I did go ahead and drop a link in the chat. You can try it for 14 days free. It's our standard plan. It's got a couple of extra little bells and whistles. So, definitely check that out.

So with all of that housekeeping out of the way, I'm going to go and stop my share, Rhea, and you can turn yours on as you'd like. With all that housekeeping out of the way, I am really excited to introduce Rhea Wong. She leverages 15 plus years of fundraising experience to help executive directors and development staff build out individual major gift programs in order to raise more money. She helps them to tweak their messages, clarify ideal donors, engage boards, streamline processes, and effectively create more effective tasks, right?

Her approach is not going to be a “hit it and quit it” kind of fundraising model. Instead, she's really focused on all those pieces and building out strong partners for long-term impact by engaging people's hearts and minds. So by clarifying messages and breaking actions into little bite sized pieces, she really helps organizations stop being so overwhelmed and start getting resources through the door.

So, Rhea, we're really excited to have you here. I'm excited for this topic. And I'm going to pass it over to you. So, feel free to go ahead and share your screen and take over.

Rhea: Awesome. Thanks so much, Celia. So good to be here with everyone.

I have a really big favour to ask. If you are able to share your video, I would love that because, real talk, you all, I dabble in stand-up comedy and I try to do some stand-up comedy routines via Zoom during the pandemic. And I have PTSD. It’s like the saddest, the most miserable thing in the world because you're throwing out jokes and you get nothing back.

So if you can, if you can't, I totally understand. But I'm out here working for you all. Help me out. Help a sister out. All right. Here we go. We're going to have some fun. I'm going to share my screen. Hold on, please. Get some technical stuff going here. Okay. Can you guys see my screen? Yes? Yes. Perfect. Okay.

Let me introduce myself. So, Celia, thank you for that very lovely and generous--actually, I was like, “Wow! That sounds really good. I'm going to take that.” But for those of -- any Game of Thrones fans? House or Dragons fans out here? Anyone? If you are, we're going to have a little offline conversation. I have some thoughts. Anyway, thank you, Courtney. I see you.

So, my life ambition is to be the Asian Oprah. I am a recovering Executive Director. I’d like to say I'm the Grand Poobah of moolah. Slayer of open mics might be a strong statement. I've definitely bombed all over downtown Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn. I’d say that stand-up comedy is the best training for fundraising. Because if you can survive getting crickets after a five-minute stand-up routine and you don't die, you can do anything.

I also have a lovely Lhasa apso named Stella. So any dog lovers out there, I can talk with you offline as well. Okay. What you're going to learn today is we're going to talk about identifying if you have a scarcity mindset. Some of you may already know that you have it. But you know what? We're just going to go down that path anyway. We're going to understand where the scarcity mindset comes from, reflect how it might affect your fundraising practice and what to do about it.

So, let's start with the first thing. Why is money mindset critical to fundraising success? I developed this training because I felt like there was a distinct gap in the market. When I first started, I was a 26-year-old ED here in New York City. I had honestly no business being an ED. But I'm grateful for the opportunity. Of course, I was 26, so I knew everything. Right?

The first day on the job, I did two Google searches. Google search one was, what does an executive director do? Google Search two was, how do you fundraise? I mean, really, I was seriously that clueless. I don't know why they hired me. But anyway, it's fine.

So, I did everything I could to learn. I took all of the classes, all the free ones, all the paid ones. I went to the Columbia Business School Program, the Harvard program, the MIT program, the foundation's. I literally did all of the things, right? So, I learned about grant writing. I learned about solicitation. I learned about end-of-year appeals. I learned about corporate sponsorships and event fundraising, and all of the things. But nobody really talked to me about mindset and the internal shifts that I needed to make in order to be an effective fundraiser, because I always thought of fundraising as a necessary evil to my job.

And it wasn't until I unpacked the mindset piece that I actually started to enjoy fundraising. I actually started to delight in fundraising. So when we think about your mindset, when we think about your brain, 8% of your success will come from your mindset. So, I can be out here giving you tactics and strategies all day long. But if you're not, if your head is not in the game, if you don't get your mind right as they say, good luck. You're not going to be as effective as you could be.

And I want you to manage your brain. Your brain is literally the most effective tool that you have in your toolbox. Right? When we just think about the world, like the room you're sitting in right now was thought of out of someone's brain. Your non-profit that you work for, someone's brain. The idea of a country and economy, anything, someone’s brain or many people's brains had to think of it. Right?

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So, our brain is capable of so much, everything, infinite. We often let our brain and those stories that our brain tells us stand in the way of connecting with the people that we're asking to support our cause. So often -- and we'll get into this. But, basically, what happens is we have stories that we grew up with or that we tell ourselves about money. Some of us have generational trauma associated with money. There are racist policies in this country that have been designed to keep money out of the hands of folks of colour. We know this is true. We can look at a history of exploitation, either through enslavement or underpayment for women and folks of colour. I mean, the list goes on. Right? There's like a whole world of trauma we can point to. That affects your mindset.

So, you're sitting on this whole pile of an inherited history of money. The person that you're talking to across the table also has some kind of energy, baggage about money. And so, imagine you're in a room, both of you are sitting on these invisible piles of money baggage and there's this gap between you. Right?

And I also just want to really be clear here. Let's dispel this myth. Just because you have wealth does not mean you don't have money baggage. In fact, you actually have more money baggage. We call that first class baggage. So, let's dispel that myth too.

A couple of things I just want to make absolutely clear is that there's enough money out there to fund your work. Okay? So often in non-profits, we say, “There's just not enough out there. There's not enough money out there.” That is empirically untrue. We are living in the richest country in the richest time in human history. Right? And for those of us in big cities like New York or San Francisco or LA, some of the richest cities in the richest country on the planet. So to me, this is not a question of, is there not enough? It's a question of distribution. That's a different problem.

So when we think about our fundraising practice and we want different results, or we want to feel differently about fundraising -- so I know some of you said that fundraising creates anxiety, or you feel nervous, or you feel stressed about it. That's all the stories that your brain creates. So if you want different results, you'll need different stories.

Are you all with me so far? Kia, I see you. Also, I have thoughts. Okay. Can you send a chat if you're with me? Is this making sense? Or like thumbs up? Yeah? Cool. Yes. Thank you. All right. Cool. Let's do this thing.

I'm going to nerd out a little bit on your brain. So, this is your brain. There's this little part in the back of your brain called the amygdala. Have you guys ever had that thing where you said something like, “Oh, I just knew it in the back of my mind.” Or like, “I was just thinking that in the back of my mind.” Yeah? Yes, no? Brittany, I'm looking at you because you're on my screen. Beautiful.

So, that's actually where your amygdala is. Your amygdala is at the back of your brain. It is the most primitive part of your brain, and it is the part of the brain that is responsible for fight, flight, or freeze.

So, what happens when we have a stimulus coming at us? Say, back in the day when a sabre-toothed tiger comes at us, right, our amygdala fires. Then what happens is it fires what we call the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is basically the pharmacy of the brain. The hypothalamus then sends out peptides, right? And it's like brain juice down into our body into our cells. And then our cells react to that range getting sent out. So like adrenaline, right? And that's what we call an emotion. So your emotions are created by your brain, which should not be a surprise.

The problem that we have in 2022 is that the hardware has not been upgraded. So, we perceive things coming at us like the sabre-toothed tigers. Like, “Oh gosh, we didn't get that grant.” Sabre-toothed tiger. “Ugh! Traffic was bad this morning.” Sabre-toothed tiger. “Someone was rude to me on the train.” Sabre-toothed tiger. Right?

So, our brains are reacting to the world as if it's a threat as if they're sabre-toothed tigers. So, your brain is constantly reacting if you perceive something as being stressful. For example, if you perceive fundraising as being stressful, your amygdala fires. And then it gets to your hypothalamus. And it sends out stress peptides into your system. And so, the feeling that you have is stress. Is this making sense so far?

Celia: Mm-hmm.

Rhea: Okay. The other part of the brain that I want you to think about is what we call the prefrontal cortex. So the prefrontal cortex is the front part of the brain, which is capable of decision-making and creativity. Have you guys ever been in flow state? That's where the flow state lives, right? So, that's where you're making rational decisions. So when your amygdala is firing, when you're in fear, you get tunnel vision. Your decision-making gets very, very narrow. Right? Let me give you a good example.

So people who are living in poverty are asked -- okay, let me backup. I think there's this very false narrative that we have in the US that working hard equals making money. Because if that were true, then every janitor out here would be a millionaire. So, the survey asked people who are living in poverty and they asked, “Well, what's your plan for getting out?” And their answer universally across the board was, “Well, I'm going to win the lottery.” That was legit their answer about how men get out of poverty.

The reason why is because their amygdala was in such flight or fight mode that they literally could not access their prefrontal cortex to think about the different possibilities that were out there in the world for how to make money. Does that make sense? Well, it seems abstract. But I'll get into more details. But all that you should really know is if you are feeling some kind of way about fundraising that is not positive, it's most likely your amygdala is firing and you're in fear. Okay?

So, Einstein once said that the most important decision you can make in your life is whether or not you perceive the universe as a friendly or a hostile place. Okay? There are two worldviews, and your brain is only ever in one of these two states. The first stage is this, that there's not enough out there for me; time, resources, money, et cetera, that the world is a threatening place where people will try to take advantage of me. People who are who they are, they don't really change. And life happens to me and I don't really have any control. That is a survival mindset, right? This is like your amygdala just trying to make it through.

The other state your brain is in is the opposite, that there's more than enough out there. The world is basically friendly. Things generally work out. Life happens for me, not to me. I have total control over my circumstances. And that's executive mode. Now, remember, your brain is either only in one of these two modes at any given point.

Put in the chat, how often do you think people are in survival mode? 90%? 80%? 85? 90? 90? 60? Okay. We got some big numbers here. But you're totally right. It's 70%. So, people spend 70% of their lives in survival mode. I'm just going to let that happen most of the time. Yeah. Most of the time we're just totally triggered and we're just freaking out all the time. I think particularly in this new political and economic climate, everyone is just tapping into that fear. Everyone is just freaking out all the time.

So, do you ever wonder why people are acting more crazy these days? It's because everyone's amygdala is just firing. And so, you act less rationally when you're in fear. Right? You can't actually access your rational brain. Okay, let's keep tracking.

So, the idea of being in a survival mindset is directly connected to our belief that there are scarce resources in the world. So, a little fun quiz here. Here are some things that you might have said or have heard in your non-profit that might indicate that you are living in a scarcity mindset. Number one, “We can't afford that.” Very common, right? Number two, “Let's all have fundraising stuff until we can have the money, or we can only break even, or there just aren't enough hours in the day to get the work done.” So, it's not just money scarcity. It can also be time scarcity.

We can't raise money because. This is one of my favourites. We can't raise money because of the pandemic. We can't raise money because of the war in Ukraine. We can't raise money because it is a Thursday. Right? I can come up with any kind of excuses about why we can't raise money today.

We don't know any rich people. That's also my personal favourite. We always don't know any rich people. Well, okay, slow your roll. Number one, how are we even defining rich? You don't need Jeff Bezos to be funding you. There are plenty of people in the world with plenty of resources who could be a partner to you.

Oh, this was my favourite one, it must be nice. I would say this one. Must be nice that that other organization can afford that office space. Must be nice that they can get the nice pencils. We can't. Or scarcely you fill your time with other tasks to avoid fundraising or looking at the budget.

Okay, real talk. No shame. Oh, Thursdays, I know. Right, Katie? Write in the chat if you have either said any of these things or heard these things said around you. No shade. And if so, which one? Which one? We can’t afford it. We don't know any rich people. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Must be nice. Carissa, yes. They said we can't wait there. No. Okay. Yes. All of them. Perfect. Yep. Yeah, yeah. Okay.

So, I feel like this is landing. We can't raise money because -- I know. It's so classic. You will give me every excuse in the world why you can't raise money. Okay. All right. Let's keep going. I'm feeling like this is landing.

Okay. So now, the question is, alright, so I might be in scarcity or my organization might be in scarcity. Where does this come from? You all did not pop out of the womb with a scarcity mindset, right? This came from something.

So, I want to talk a little bit about where it might come from. I will share my personal story. So, I grew up in San Francisco during the 80s and 90s. So, it was the height of the AIDS and crack epidemics in San Francisco. And for those of you who have ever been to San Francisco, you'll know that there's a very large homeless population. And I was eight years old walking down the street with my dad one day. And I reached into my pocket because I saw this homeless man who had stringy hair in his face and a little cardboard sign that said, “Homeless vet. Please help.” I reached out my pocket and I gave him a quarter. And my dad sees me and he whips around and he goes, “Oh, so you're so rich now? You can just give money away?” And I'm eight years old. I don't know what's up. I'm in trouble, right? But I don't really know why. I don't know what I did wrong.

And so, I realized in my family, what I'd heard my whole life growing up is money doesn't grow on trees. Who do you think we are, the Rockefellers? That's for rich people, not for us. All the things. Right?

The only time I ever really saw my parents’ worst fights were always about money. And it wasn't until I became an executive director and started fundraising and I was like, “Oh, why do I hate fundraising? I could just get a knot in my stomach.” And I’ve realized once I started doing this work around mindset and understanding the stories that we tell was that I realized in my family, because my grandparents had come from China with $20 in their pockets and had escaped the communists who took everything from them. That money in my family represented stability. It represented security and survival. And I subconsciously put that on to the people that I was asking for money. I was subconsciously asking them to give of their own stability and to experience the shame that I had experienced when I gave money.

Now, a little side note here I want to add too is that, particularly for folks of colour on the call, the idea of Philanthropy, capital P, to me, always brings up this idea of some older white man behind a fancy desk writing a check. Right? But I also want to lift up the fact that as people of colour, we have been practicing philanthropy forever. We just don't call it philanthropy. We call it helping out our family. We call it sending money back home. We call it contributing to someone's house fund. Right?

So, I also just want to be really clear that, like capital P, Philanthropy wasn't something that my family ever practiced. But we were generous with our family and amongst ourselves. So, the idea of giving money to folks who are not our family was very foreign to me.

So, again, it's what we experienced growing up. And then our experiences that have a strong emotion attached to it create memories in our brain. And then we have reinforcing behaviours and habits.

Anyone ever heard the term confirmation bias? Yes? No? All right, I'm just going to assume, no. Assume that confirmation bias is that our brain is very good at filtering things out. And so, if we have a belief like people aren't generous or we don't have resources or time is money, or any of those sorts of stories that we tell ourselves, we look at examples. And we only exclusively pick up on examples that reinforce our own narrative. Does that make sense?

So whatever your narrative is, you can find a bunch of examples. It's like that phenomenon where sometimes if you want a new pair of shoes and you're like thinking about it and then all of a sudden you see everyone in the world has this pair of shoes. And you’re like, “Why do people have this pair of shoes?” The shoes were always there. You just weren't paying attention to it. Does that make sense?

So, your brain is able to pick things up. It's so silly. Because if your brain was actively processing every single thing that happened to every minute of the day, consciously, you'd never get anything done. Right? So, this is really like the way your brain works.

Let me pause here. Any questions, comments, or concerns? Confirmation bias is surreal. It is surreal, Hannah. Thank you.

All right. We're going to break up into small groups now because I feel like I've -- you all should talk amongst yourselves. I mean, I'll break you up into small groups of two or three. Here are the discussion questions. I'll also put it in the chat. What did I hear in my family growing up regarding money? What did my parents model for me regarding money? So in my family, my dad was the spender. My mom was the saver. What memories do I have that evoke a strong emotion regarding money? So again, for me, it was the shame of giving. It was in trouble. And how do my feelings about money influence my fundraising practice?

Now, you're probably not going to get through all of the questions. These are just like starter questions for you. I'm going to have you guys come back. And then if a couple of groups could share out, that would be great. I think what you'll find is that we all have a very common money story. Yes. The gospel of giving is fantastic. I met Dr. Freeman at a talk. He's a lovely person.

Okay. Questions, comments, or concerns? Does that seem clear? Thumbs up? Are we good? All right. Cool. I'm going to put you all in rooms. I'm going to stop sharing. Cool, please. All right. Okay. Go make some new friends. I will give you all 10 minutes and then we'll come back. Okay? And this is randomly created. So, you can end up -- it'll be very exciting. You'll make some new friends. Oh, okay.

Okay. We might have some technical difficulties. Okay, wait. I'm not going to put Ellie in a room. I'm going to move -- oh, then we have a couple other folks who are not in rooms? What's happening here? Let's see. Should I move Cecelia to a different room? I'm going to move Cecilia to a different room.

Okay. And then I will… Alright. Celia, I'm going to pop into a room and I'll see you back. Okay.

We have to go swiftly because I’ve got to leave some room here. But I heard some really good conversations. Here's one question. Stacey, thank you for putting this on the radar. Let me ask you all this. When you think about asking people for money, what is the feeling that comes up for you? Just throw it in the chat. I know not everyone is starting to join. What's that feeling? Dread. Thank you, Doris. Oh, adrenaline, ick, unworthiness. Okay. I don't know how. Okay. Skewed power dynamics. For sure. Not convincing enough. Okay. Let me pause there. Anticipated no, anxious and gross. Okay. Let me pause there.

How do you feel when you give to something that you love? Great, joyful. We love it. Right? It's awesome. I feel important. I feel like I'm helping. Dadada.

So let me ask you this, what kind of brain nonsense are you creating? Is the way that you feel when you give money to something you love is going to be different than the way someone else feels when they give money to your organization? Do you feel like your experience is so unique that you are the only person that feels good about giving to something that you love? No?

So, I say this to point out that the feelings that you're creating are like, “Oh, gross, anxious, icky,” whatever, whatever. That's all just in your own brain. That's just a story you're telling yourself. Instead, what if fundraising was about inviting people in to support something that they could truly love and care about? What if fundraising was just a party and all your job was to see who wants to be invited?

Have any of you ever been offended by being invited to a party? I mean, I don't want to go to the party. But I'm never offended that you asked me to come to the party. Right? What if fundraising was just a party? And you just wanted to see who wants to come? And if you come to my party, I'm going to tell you what to bring. I'm going to tell you the means. I'm going to tell you to bring the chips, the dessert, whatever. Right? But if you don't go to my party, it's not personal. There are lots of parties going on. It's just a party. You just want to see who wants to come to your party.

Let me pause there. Does that help you all to think about? It's not about you, by the way, not about you. If someone does not want to come to your party, it's not because they hate you. And we have to get over this whole seventh-grade thing like, “Nobody likes you. No one is going to turn out at your party.” That party may not be for them. Or it might not be right now. It's okay. It's fine. It's not personal. Get over yourselves.

Okay. Helpful. Great. Love it. All right, let's keep tracking. We got some more -- we got more work to do. Actually, we have a lot of work to do, but I only have an hour, so.

Okay. Okay. Where am I? I would love some time to share it all, but we don't have the time. But let me ask you this. Given what you've unearthed in your conversations about money and your money story, how do you think that you might be different without these beliefs? Just like a thought experiment. I'm not saying that you have to get rid of them. I'm not saying they're bad. Obviously, this served you in some kind of way. But how might you be different in the world if you just could let go of the beliefs that you have?

In the chat. Would love if someone -- let's see. All right. Let's look at our chatty chat here. You'd feel confident. I wouldn't be ashamed. I’d be fearless. Okay. All right. Calm and grounded. Hey, Rebecca, could I call on you to just share a little bit more?

Rebecca: About the calm and grounded?

Rhea: Yeah. I love being calm and grounded.

Rebecca: Yeah. I have a lot of anxiety issues that I'm working through. So, it's also a personal thing where when I feel I really know what I'm doing and I am very like, “Oh, I can do this. This is something I can do. This is something I have the resources to do.” I'm not just seeing overdrive and thank you for this thing and thank you for that thing and thank you for all these different things. So really getting into that fight-or-flight mode. It's very like, “Oh, I have it. I have to do this next. I have to do this next.” This is just a different -- totally different feeling in my body and a different weight --

Rhea: Yeah. Yeah.

Rebecca: Yeah, same with the ground. They go hand in hand.

Rhea: Yeah.

Rebecca: It's really less about that scarcity mindset that just drives so much overwork and so much avoiding the work that needs to be done to actually do the things that I should be doing.

Rhea: Yeah. Thank you for sharing. So the other thing I -- and you mentioned such an important point about the body, right? When we're in fear and we're fight or flight, our heart beats faster. We kind of slept, right? We kind of freak out. We can jerk, right? We get twitchy.

But if we can just relax a little bit, we're communicating confidence of our body and our body that will trigger our brain. So, thank you. So, I'm putting that as a thought experiment for you. Who would I be? How would I be different if I didn't have these beliefs? Okay?

Again, just a thought experiment. It feels like therapy a little bit. Not going to lie. But here's what your beliefs did for you. And so, these beliefs are not there for no reason. It keeps you connected to an identity. And so, often, our identity is driven by our community or our family. So, often, with me, for example, and because my family had some baggage about money and riches, I almost felt like, “Well, who am I? Who am I to talk about money? Who am I?” Because my family was considered very rude to talk about money, too. It's like the Asian thing, right?

But all of a sudden it's like, “Well, what if I did talk about money? What if I talk about money? What if I talk about how I like to raise money?” And I like people who have money and I like making money. Right? On some level, I had to divorce myself from my family. Right? Because it's like, in this family, we believe this. If I believe differently than that, then am I part of the family anymore?

The other thing is, too, if I have these beliefs in my brain, it feels very comfortable to me. The brain likes to be safe. It likes to feel comfortable. Right? So, let me tell you a story about tigers in -- there's a tiger in DC. I know I have very limited time. There's this tiger in DC who was in this little tiny cage. And so, this poor thing would just go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Eventually, they created this big enclosure for this lovely little tiger to go run around. And they're like, “This is going to be great. We're going to set her free.”

They took the little cage. They are put in the enclosure. They open the door. And guess what happened? She just stayed in the little cage going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, even though she had his whole world out here.

The reason being is that our little amygdala brains would prefer to be safe than to be free, because we are so afraid of uncertainty. Right? So, I say that all to say that are your beliefs -- even if they aren't empowering to you, are they familiar to you? And if they are familiar to you, what might it feel like to be a little bit uncomfortable? Right? Everything you want is on the other side of discomfort.

The question is, how do I shift my thinking? So quickly, I know time is not our friend. So, for those of you who have read James Clear, I recommend it's awesome. So the way that people try to change their behaviour is process and outcome, right? So this is like, you know at the beginning of January and February where you go to the gym and everyone is at the gym because they all made New Year's resolutions that they were going to be in shape. And then by March no one's at the gym? That's this phenomenon.

What we do is we try to change our process by changing our outcome. But what we have to do for deep level change is we have to go down to the level of identity. I'm the kind of person, right, if I'm the kind of person who's athletic and I tell myself that I'm the kind of person who is athletic, then I think about it like, “Well, what kinds of things do other people do?” Well, they go to the gym. They eat right. They do whatever. They go on runs with their friends. And so, I change my behaviour and not the process level of like, “Oh, I'm going to go to the gym.” I change it on the identity level. Like, I am the kind of person who makes healthy choices. Right? And you let that identity then define your habits and your choices and your actions. Does that make sense? I know it's very deep. We can get so much more into this. And I'm giving you a very high level.

So, just for fun as a thought experiment, I would love for you all to write down one aspirational identity. So, connected to who would you be without these beliefs? Just write a fun identity that I want you to start thinking about. Like, I'm the kind of person who loves to fundraise. I am the kind of person who attracts resources. I'm the kind of person who people love giving money to. Think about some aspirational identity and just write it down in the chat. What I want you to then do is put that little post on your bathroom mirror where you can see it, and just contemplate it every day. Like, “Well, if I'm the kind of person who babababa, what would that kind of person do?”

Oh, I'm the kind of person who's confident talking about money. I'm the kind of person who is creative. Wendy, I would maybe get a little bit more specific there. What do you mean by creative? In general or in life? Give me a couple more. This is really fun. I am the kind of person who believes people want to support me in the organization I'm building. I think that is actually true, Carissa. I'm the kind of person who likes to connect people with my work. I'm the kind of person who will come to me for resources and help. These are really beautiful.

So, again, put this where you can see it, really contemplate, really think about what would it feel like? What would it smell like? What would it taste like? What would it sound like to be this kind of person? Because again, we're training our brain to conceive of different ways of thinking. Because this whole scarcity thing that you all are in, that's a lifetime. So, we have to deprogram ourselves a little bit.

Okay. I am going to wrap it up. I could do a lot more. But again, time scarcity. We don't have all the time in the world. The other thing I just want to note here is when I talk about scarcity and abundance, I’m not saying -- so there are a couple things. Number one, that doesn't mean that you can just sit and think about abundance and the world will magically manifest for you. That's not what I'm saying. You actually have to do stuff, right?

So when I talk about abundance, I'm talking about aligning your actions, your thoughts, your words, your attention. And when you align, that's when the abundance flows. Right? Because I think there's a lot of this manifesting thing where it's like, “I'm just going to sit and think about being rich.” Okay, that's cute. You can't just sit and think about it. You actually have to do stuff.

The other piece that I will say is, with all this abundance, I'm not talking about things like, “Oh, I'm just going to take all the money and blow it.” Crazy. That's not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is thinking about money without emotion. Money is just a resource. And in fact, it's a renewable resource, more so than any other resource that we have. If we don't have more time, you could argue that we don't have more trees, right? But we do have more money.

So when you think about money and investing your money or spending your money, take the emotion out of it and think of it purely neutrally as a resource that you can get more of and that you can spend. Does that make sense? That's really what I'm just talking about. Let's take the emotional story out of money so that we can be intelligent and use our prefrontal cortex to use it to the best and highest use.

If you like this, I have a free webinar series. I have a podcast series called non-profit lowdown. I have a free newsletter. So every week, I send some inspo. And I have a book called Get That Money, Honey! So, I would love to have you connect with me on any of these different platforms. And it has been a pleasure.

So, let me pause there. I'm happy to take questions that I know Celia needs to do some wrap up stuff.

Celia: Awesome. Thank you so much, Rhea.

I am going to reshare my screen here because I have a couple of things I want to share with everyone. But thank you so much. I think that was an awesome presentation. If you all have questions, go ahead and drop them in the chat because we are going to have just like a couple of minutes here at the end. If there's anything you want to clarify or ask about, please do that.

I'm also going to go ahead and sort of share my screen with you all, because we do have some freebies for everyone today who's interested. So first thing we have is a 20-page guide from Instrumentl on some of our sort of tips around grant writing. So, it's a really good resource if you're thinking about grants as a way to diversify your funding strategy. And then, also, if you fill out this form, which I'm dropping in chat right now, we will send you a free chapter of Rhea’s book as well. So, you can check that out and see how that's going.

And just as a reminder, if you use Rhea’s link and sign up for 14 days of Instrumentl, you will get access to our standard plan which has some really fun kinds of bells and whistles on it. So, check that out as well. And you can always use her code to save $100 off your first month if you're interested.

So, again, those two links in the chat, one is for 14 days free of Instrumentl. No commitment needed. Grab a list of good-fit funders. Work on now. Work on them next year. But use that trial while you get it. And then, of course, get your freebies or 10 lessons from 10 grant writing experts, as well as a free chapter from Rhea’s book. So, thanks everyone so much for coming today. Were there any questions? I didn't see any.

Rhea: I didn't see any questions. But I'd love it if you all could just give one takeaway from today. We have a couple of minutes. I'm also happy to stick around a little bit after folks have one-on-one questions and don't want to go. You're welcome, Stacy.

Celia: All right.

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I can stick around a little bit after two. So, think about money without emotion. Right?

Oh, yeah. Kia, we need to talk about House of the Dragon, friend. I have thoughts. I'm very unsatisfied, I must say. But maybe this is also like -- what do you think? Fundraising party. Yeah, totally, a fundraising party. Kia, your thoughts.

Kia: On House of the Dragon?

Rhea: Or whatever.

Kia: Oh, this season, I don't -- they shouldn't even have bothered with the House of the Dragon if it was going to be this horrible, honestly. Because like next to Game of Thrones, they just like really --

Rhea: Yeah. Okay. I'm going to be fair, though. I'm going to be fair. It took a house -- like Game of Thrones some time to ramp up. I don't think that Season 1 was totally awesome, either. So, I'm going to give it another season just to see. But, yeah, I'm pretty much with you on that one. I'm like, “Really?”

Kia: Well, just like, come on, they jumped -- I don't know how many times.

Rhea: Ten years. I know. It was like, “Please!” Also, it’s kind of hard to even stay alive for 10 years. She was falling apart from the get -- anyway, whatever. I have thoughts, which is encouraging. It's a completely different show.

I know, Carissa. Okay. We have feelings about this. Celia, you probably would have to cut this last part out.

Celia: No, I -- don't worry about it. I might go ahead and record.

Rhea: Alright. Well, thanks.

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