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Try something new this summer

Updated: Jul 2

I often talk about the importance of “Bravery” when it comes to fundraising. If you fear hearing a NO, you might never get to a yes.

A great philosopher once said:

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

That was A.A. Milne’s Christopher Robin talking to Winnie the Pooh.

We all have a basket in which we have collected the scars of rejections long ago forgotten by the folks who rejected our requests.

"Dad, can I have $5?" was mine.

When I started in sales, I always felt like I was asking my father for money. Geez, I had to get over that one fast. And I did. I had to understand that the money I was asking for was of value to them.

When it comes to fundraising, the key is to ask the right questions to discover what is important to the donor—what is valuable to them.

Be brave enough to ask those hard questions of individual donors. Be strong enough to ask corporate donors about their goals for their partnership.

And most importantly, be brave enough to discover what is standing in your way to asking.

Is it the fear of rejection? I think it is crucial to remember that if a potential sponsor says no, they are NOT saying no to you. They are saying no to what you are offering. It might be time to discover (gently) if it is no forever or no for now.

Confidence in your ASK is crucial.

This is why you ask questions upfront. This will help you discover so much and help you to pinpoint their goals and hopes for their philanthropy before you ask.

Not sure how to ask?

If you have asked the right questions and prepared based on what they have told you they wanted—the ask comes very naturally. I promise!

Not sure when to ask?

If you have asked the right questions and prepared based on what they have told you they wanted—the ask comes very naturally. I promise.

Things to do this summer to build up your bravery:

  • Stop for coffee (or an adult beverage) and strike up a conversation with a stranger. If appropriate, ask them some questions!

Try something new this summer
  • Try a new class at the gym. I started a ballet class—trust me, I was brave to try, and I believe I look like an idiot, but I love pushing myself to do something new.

  • Visit someplace you have never been before. This could be somewhere near where you live, like a cool art museum, or a far-off country—see a new perspective that makes you think.

  • Think about what scares you and (safely) deal with it. Touch a snake at a pet store (OH YUCK), eat a mushroom, or make 10 cold calls in a row. I promise you will live and grow!

And remember one more quote from A.A. Milne:

“You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

Be Brave.

For more techniques on being brave, reach out to Team Kat & Mouse today. We are consultants to nonprofits who give you the training, tactics, and tools to exceed your fundraising goals!

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