Fear Factor: Help Your Board Conquer Fundraising Phobias

first_img“Fundraising is the F-word to many board members.” —Gail Perry, Fired Up Fundraising It’s all too common for board members to avoid fundraising for your nonprofit because it can cause a lot of anxiety—even downright fear. We asked Rachel Muir, vice president of training at Pursuant and founder of Girlstart, to share how you can reframe some common fundraising fears to help your board members feel confident every time they make an ask. Fear: If a donor gives to our organization, it might hurt them in some way. Truth: The world is full of generous people who want to give. The wrong approach to fundraising is feeling like you’re taking something away from someone. Encourage your board members to believe in abundance. We don’t have to look any farther than the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised $220 million. Before the challenge, that $220 million was sitting in people’s pockets and bank accounts, but that challenge inspired people to give. Fear: I’ll be rejected and fail. Truth: Ninety-five percent of the ask is what leads up to it. Think about a marriage proposal. You pretty much know the answer before the words are spoken out loud. It’s not how the question is asked; it’s all the work you did beforehand to build the relationship. That’s what gets you to yes, and it’s the same in fundraising. It’s what happens before the solicitation that brings a person to give. Getting a meeting with a donor, for example, is a very positive indicator. People won’t agree to a meeting unless they’re highly likely to make a gift. Ideally, you’ve been cultivating this person appropriately. It’s important for your board to remember that. The ask feels like the hardest or scariest part, but the real ask is all the work that happened before your board member invites the donor to contribute. Fear: I don’t want to put someone on the spot. Truth: Giving is a joyous experience that feels good to the donor. This fact is so important to remind your board. According to a recent donor engagement study from ABILA, donors feel the most engaged and connected to your cause when they’re making a gift. As donors, we tend think about how the person on the receiving end will feel. We’re excited about the organization opening the mail and finding our check. If we’re giving online, we’re excited about the nonprofit receiving the email announcing our donation. It just feels good to give. Ultimately, it comes down to reminding board members that they’re simply sharing their passion for your cause. They’re offering people an opportunity to make a real impact in the world. There is much to be given, and there is much to be had. Want more great advice from Rachel Muir to help your board members become fundraising superstars? Download the complete Nonprofit 911 webinar, “10 Tips to Get Your Board Fundraising in One Hour,” right now!last_img

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