Our sector - especially in small nonprofits - is filled with reluctant fundraisers who were assigned the responsibility of fundraising so that they can keep the organization afloat. Reluctant fundraisers know a lot about fundraising best practices, but when it comes to actually doing it, fundraising still feels difficult and even impossible.
To support all the reluctant fundraisers, our very own Cindy Wagman wrote a book titled Raise It! The Reluctant Fundraiser’s Guide to Raising Money Without Selling Your Soul. On this very first episode of the season, Cindy shares with us an excerpt from the book.
Myths that Cindy wants us to walk away from
“How dare I ask people?” There is always a hesitation to ask because of our assumptions about donors and funders. A helpful reframe for this thought is - “how dare I not ask people?” Our organization’s mission is too important for it to be sitting in dust and not rally people’s support.
“If this strategy works for other organizations, it must work for us. Right?!” The comparison game shows up a lot for small organizations. The truth is - a cookie cutter approach to fundraising doesn’t work. What works for another organization is not a magical solution to your problem. Start from where you are.
“We need this and that in place before we can fundraise” Is this thought true, or is this another excuse to delay the action of actually doing the fundraising? You don’t need a fancy branding guide or marketing plan before starting to fundraising.
Cindy’s philosophy on addressing the root cause of fundraising pain
Focus on changing how we think and feel when we fundraise, rather than chasing for the magical solution. Recruiting a board member that knows fundraising won’t fix all your fundraising pain. Speaking to another organization that does individual giving well is not going to drastically increase your donations. If you are reluctant to fundraise, you will never prioritize it.
Check in how our beliefs around fundraising show up in different fundraising situations. For example, before going into a donor meeting, what are all the thoughts that are showing up on your mind? How are you feeling? Write these down and see if these thoughts are true or just assumptions that you’re bringing into the situation.
For more on how to change our mindset around fundraising, listen to the podcast and get your hands on Cindy’s new book and the amazing bonuses exclusive to the presale period. Pre-order your copy of Raise It! here today.
Favourite Quotes from Today’s Episode
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“So much of fundraising education is teaching people who want to fundraise the tactics to do so, professional fundraisers who want to fine tune their craft. But who is teaching the non fundraisers who were shouldered with the responsibility of fundraising when they would rather be doing anything else? Imagine teaching an advanced law class to someone who doesn't want to be a lawyer. It just doesn't work.”
“Best practices don't matter. Not if you haven't done the foundational work, not if you have no interest in it. I always say: I'm never going to reach for the salad when it's sitting beside a pint of Ben and Jerry's. If you're uncomfortable with fundraising, there will always be something else you're going to reach for.”
Resources from this Episode