What Fundraising is NOT

I led a workshop last week on “Getting to Yes.”  And, I frequently do with fundraising A Fool and His Moneyworkshops, I asked what got in their way of asking prospects for money.

Almost everyone in the class was nonprofit staff, responsible in some way for fund development, so I assumed that their answers would be along the lines of  not having enough time, not feeling that they were enough of a peer, not being able to get appointment.  What I heard, however, was very similar to what I hear from board members:

  • It’s uncomfortable
  • I’m afraid of being rejected
  • Don’t know how to ask
  • Don’t know what to ask for
  • Don’t like hitting on the same folks
  • Feels like begging

Those last two really get me where I live.

Fundraising is never, ever hitting on someone, nor is it begging in any way shape or form.  Fundraising is a lot of things and takes a lot of skill. Hitting on or begging someone are not among them.

If you don’t honestly think that you are giving someone a terrific opportunity to be involved and invest with an organization that is doing something important, either you are at the wrong place, in the wrong job—or both.

And if you believe that the work you do is important, admirable, changes lives then why wouldn’t you want to offer someone the ability to be part of it?
Janet Levine works with nonprofits moving them from mired to inspired.  Learn more at www.janetlevineconsulting.com.  While there, sign up for the newsletter and a free 30 minute consultation.


About janetlevineconsulting

For over 20 years, Janet Levine has worked for and with nonprofit and educational organizations, helping to grow their advancement programs. Her consulting company, Janet Levine Consulting, serves a wide range of organizations from small, all-volunteer agencies to major national organizations. She regularly teaches courses in non-profit management, fundraising and grant development, both face-to-face and online at http://courses.lmlearningstation.com/. In addition to her nonprofit work, Janet brings years of experience as a business and sales manager in the for-profit sector. She has an MBA from the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University.
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