What's Your One Thing?


What's the one thing you wish you would've known when you started fundraising?

Share your answer in the comments below?!

We're asking you. Whether you're a fundraiser, nonprofit executive director, board member or volunteer - what advice, secret, tool or tip do you wish you'd had earlier?

Share your answers here on the Generous Change blog, and, together, we can help take the fear out of fundraising.

What's my one thing?

Peoples is peoples.

This awesome quote from The Muppets Take Manhattan still helps me to be a better fundraiser. Yes, I'm serious. The Muppets have helped me raise money. There's inspiration everywhere! Even from way back in 1984.

When I started in fundraising (and honestly, for the first few years), I lacked confidence. I was completely intimidated by the strangers I was meeting. Honestly, I couldn't sleep the night before donor visits because of these thoughts:

  • I'm going to say the wrong thing.
  • I don't know enough.
  • I'm not as smart as the person I'm meeting.
  • I'm not as accomplished as the person I'm meeting.
  • I'm a fraud and they'll know it.
  • Why did I book the room by the damn elevator? I can't even book a hotel room right!

If you've ever had these thoughts, you, too, need a little Muppet inspiration. Peoples is peoples. People are just people.

The potential donors you meet are people - just like you - just like me.

They have a dog, or a kid, or a dog they treat like a kid. They hate certain kinds of food (truffle oil - it smells like feet and you can't make me like it). They hate mornings or fall asleep at 8PM. They've likely failed at least one test in school. They have birthdays, anniversaries, dentist appointments and haircuts. And, I'm almost 100% positive, they have eaten ice cream directly from the carton at one desperate or sleepless moment in their lives.

Peoples is peoples has helped me walk into a multi-millionaire's office overlooking Central Park with my head held high and a little less shake in my voice.

If I can do it - you can, too!


In the comments, share the one thing you wish you would've known when you started fundraising?