No one likes to be rejected. The fear of no can hold us back from progress, including seeking the funds needed to meet our mission. We camouflage this fear sometimes with explanations like not having time or haven’t gotten around to it yet or even I don’t know that person.
Eventually, asking people for money becomes a lower priority and we seek out less threatening ways of getting the money, like a new event or searching for more grants.
However, you should take note: individuals are the leading funders of nonprofit organizations, contributing as much as 85% of all gifts to nonprofits, and those organizations with a broad base of financial support from many individuals are more sustainable for the future. Individual donors are an important part of your funding plan.
One way this “fear-of-the-ask” can be overcome is by rearranging your fundraising perspective. Statistics say that a response of “no” is something to expect at least 50% of the time and this rarely has anything to do with you. Another reality to consider is that your request for funds provides the potential donors with an opportunity to make a difference in their community. Why would you want to deny them this privilege?
If you are looking to overcome your fear, give me a call and let’s talk it through. Better yet, grab your board members, leadership staff, and some key volunteers and join us at Mission Driven Fundraising: Lead and Advance Your Fund Development Program. It's always better to do something hard with people who can help you and support the process.
- Tom Williams, Capacity Builder
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