What's the one thing you wish you'd known when you started fundraising?
Share your answer in the comments below?!
We're asking you. Whether you're a fundraiser, executive director, board member or volunteer, what advice, secret, tool or tip do you wish you'd had earlier?
Share you answers here on the Generous Change blog and, together, we can help take the fear out of fundraising!
What's my one thing?
It's about the money.
That sounds obvious, right? But honestly, I didn't quite get it early on.
I tend toward the, shall we say, overly optimistic. When I first started fundraising, if someone clearly had wealth and said they loved my org, I assumed that, eventually - once I'd built the fabled "relationship" and "engaged" them - they would give.
Not so much.
I'd visit these delightful folks three, four, sometimes five times before realizing that:
You know that thing that happens to you when you know it's time to bring up money in a donor conversation? That moment when you know you have to say it or you'll miss your chance or chicken out?
Your heart races, your face gets hot and you start to do that zoning in thing where all you hear is what’s in your head.
You are not alone!
After more than a decade of asking for money, this still happens to me.
It also happens to Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise, an amazing organization that has built 400 schools in Guatemala, Ghana and Laos and given tens of thousands of kids access to education.
In Adam’s fantastic book, The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, he has an entire chapter dedicated to his fear of fundraising. It’s called Vulnerability is Vital.
Adam describes his first ask of a six-figure commitment from a potential donor. He writes, “My face was still but my chest was pounding.”