No one usually enjoys asking others for money. It can make you feel extremely uncomfortable and out of your element. For nonprofit organizations, it’s a critical step in getting much needed funding and donations efficiently. It can be a terribly daunting task, but a necessary one.
Board members and volunteers must jump over this hurdle of anxiety and frustration for the betterment of their organization. Here at CharityNet USA, we have developed strategies to make the process easier and less terrifying.
Be Able To Hear The Word “No”
It’s not something you ever want to hear and no one wants to be told no, but it’s a part of life. In the end, it’s only a word. It doesn’t change your fundraising goal. Use it as a learning experience by accepting it as a part of the process and move on.
Tell A Good Story Or Testimonial
Get used to telling your story over and over again. A good story that you’re passionate about really shows, so don’t be afraid to share your testimonial or story with others when asking for donations. If you’re an ambassador for your organization, you aren’t just raising money, you’re bringing in more potential advocates to your cause.
Get Used To Failing With Grace
Having some doors shut in your face will happen, so strive to handle it gracefully. It’s the nature of the game. Not everyone is going to respond to your message, and you should remember that. Rejection is a part of the fundraising process and if you aren’t getting rejections regularly, then that means you probably aren’t talking to enough people and taking necessary risk.
Build Critical Relationships
As an advocate for your organization, you can take it upon yourself to build relationships with everyone you meet regardless of if they decide to donate right away. You could potentially bring another person to your cause, and make a friend in turn.
You Are Giving People The Opportunity To Make A Difference
If you’re passionate, it will show. Passion resonates with people and can easily spread to others. If you make a proper case for your fundraiser, you will give others a chance to make a difference as well. This can be a critical determining factor of whether or not someone will donate.
Practice Makes Perfect
The more times you practice the process of asking for donations, the better at it you will become. Trial and error works in fundraising as well. The more doors you knock on, the more likely you are to get those donations you’re looking for. And even if you don’t get the donations, it’s all a learning process for the next time around. So get comfortable telling your story and sharing your passions.
Find The Good In The Situation
Even a failed encounter could lead to success later on down the road. Just because someone chooses not to donate doesn’t make it a blatant loss. There may be people they know personally that would be interested in donating to your organization. They can also provide you with invaluable feedback on your fundraising journey going forward.
The bottom line is, always try to find the potential good in a fundraising situation. You never know how you may positively impact who you speak to. You could move them to tell your story to others, or share your organization’s information with other potential donors. Remember that fundraising can be a nerve-racking process, but it doesn’t always have to be. Take each experience as a learning process and continue moving forward to improve your organization.