Catherine Crooker, Principal
Almost all of our fear around fundraising boils down to the ego’s fear of rejection. How do you help your team, including yourself, move through the fear and make the call anyway? I’m not going to tell you that you, your board and your volunteers shouldn’t feel the fear. The ego is powerful, and the fear is natural, especially for people who are new to this. The key is to feel the fear, be brave and make the call anyway!
Put Them in Your Shoes: Take a few minutes to remember your own journey to this organization. At some point someone pushed through their own fear and reached out to you. And at some point you said, “Yes.” Otherwise you wouldn’t be on the cusp of reaching out to others.
Put your potential donor in YOUR shoes. Were you offended? Were you put off? Or are you grateful to the person who was brave enough to reach out and engage you with this organization that now means so much to you?
Don’t Decide FOR Them: Not every person you contact will decide this is the right organization for them, but if you don’t at least invite them, they won’t get to decide for themselves. Remember, this is an INVITATION to get involved with something. It is fine if they decline.
They Are Not Rejecting YOU: Even when we know people well, we can’t always know everything about what will interest them. So, if you learn that this organization is not for them, that’s fine. Remember, it is about the organization, not you. And really, it’s not a REJECTION, just not a good fit.
EXPLORE not CAJOLE: If you reach out with the goal of exploring with them whether this is a good fit, instead of the goal of trying to convince them of something, you will have a genuine conversation that can lead to a meaningful engagement. And even if it is not a good fit, the relationship will be as strong as ever.
So, go ahead and feel the fear. And make the call anyway! I promise – it DOES get easier!