October 21, 2014 Rainmaker

The Power of a Request

It’s the most beautiful, although quite possibly the most anxiety-provoking, part of Common Change – bringing a request before your group. Realizing that you have the opportunity to impact someone that you care about can be exhilarating and daunting. You want to help; and you want to help well.

Here are a few things to consider when presenting an opportunity to your group.

Talk about your group
Some of us may not know where to start because we are unfamiliar with the needs around us. We may be surrounded by opportunity and not even realize it. Talking about your involvement in Common Change can be a good way to introduce others to what you are a part of and is a fantastic way of opening up discussions about needs around you.
Ask for consent
Once you’ve identified a need to share, take time to talk with your friend before sharing the request with your group. This shows respect and empathy.  Talking about why you participate as a member of Common Change can provide the building blocks to understand how the group might be able to help. It’s good to mention to your friend that you want to make the request and that the decision is with the group and not just with one individual. In the event that your friend agrees to have you share their need, be sure to have contact information (address, phone number, and email).
Post your request
Now that you have consent, the fun starts. So does the challenge of effectively communicating a story that captures both the person and the details of their need in a way that will allow your group to determine how best to help.
Discuss and Invite
After you have posted your request other members in your group will have the opportunity to comment (discuss) and weigh in (vote). Draw people into the conversation by emailing them directly and asking them to share their thoughts, questions and suggestions on how they think that the group may best help.
Keep the connection with updates
As the main point of connection between your friend and group, you have a great opportunity to keep your group informed on how things progress. Giving a financial gift, though significant, is only one type of support. Providing occasional updates to your group will help maintain connection and engage your group in deeper relationship.
By keeping these five simple steps in mind as you make a request, you will be well on your way to making a significant impact.  No matter how big or small a gift might seem, let’s make requests with great love for people we care deeply for.