The Fear of Fundraising

The Fear of Fundraising

One of the most difficult tasks in fundraising, whether it is online or face-to-face, is making the ask. Fear of rejection can be crippling, and depending on the financial stability of your organization, potentially ruinous for your cause.There are a litany of books, blog posts, and other resources out there to help sales folks and development professionals overcome this fear, but like with a sales pitch itself, different people need different advice. What doesn’t change, though, is that every pitch for funding ultimately revolves around relationship building.

This is especially true with fundraising, more so than with traditional sales, in that the product you are pitching can sometimes be considered more of a feeling than a tangible object or service. What can have the greatest impact on creating a sustainable fundraising & outreach strategy is relying on developing the most out of your relationships – both old and new.

And if you are out there making cold connections with potential donors, a “no” may not be the worst thing. There is the common sentiment amongst sales strategists that “no” is the second best answer you could receive – not knowing is actually worse. If a company or donor does reject your ask for assistance, definitely feel free to ask why this was the case. Understanding your potential donors can help guide your future pitches and aid in knowing what the weaknesses of your organization are to those in a position of giving. It also gives you the opportunity to continue a relationship with someone who may be an ally or even a donor down the line.

Every step in the fundraising and nonprofit development process relies on relationship building – in this blog and in our work with nonprofits, this has been our main tenant and one we look forward to returning to in the coming months. You can’t get a yes without asking, you can’t get what you want without putting yourself out there, and you can’t succeed without developing relationships with people and organizations that believe in you and your cause. Your next phone call or email might lead to a relationship that will result in a yes, but even if it doesn’t, it can lead to a relationship that will have value to your organization.

1 Comment
  • Kellymarie Demaray says:

    Great words of advice I’m going to share this with my fundraising team for my event. You hit the nail on the head the not knowing is the hardest part!


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