Each organization as well every single initiative needs resources to exists. And it doesn’t matter if it is a volunteer labor, workplace with an Internet access, pro-bono expertise or monetary funds. To engage any kind of resources we need to fundraise. And as a nonprofit leader you probably know that you should do it a lot.

But do you really do it?

Looking back to a professional experience of many fundraisers including yourself, you can find out that most of the time you’ve face some personal, internal barriers on the way to your own fundraising success. Indeed, you definitely know the cause you support is obviously important and the nonprofit is making difference any given day. But at the time you’re seeing your prospect or hearing their voice on the phone — you’ve found all of it blurred and all of the words gone.

Next time on the way to your meeting with a donor, run through these 3 tricks to make sure to get that fundraiser in you to the light:

  1. Breathe in and breathe out — remind yourself why are you personally care about the cause and be a cool person to be around. If you’re excited about your work you can make the donor feel this way too (c) AL. Let you live your mission and it will help to engage your prospect in it too.
  2. What’s the plan for your meeting? How many time do you have and what does your prospect care more about? What is the main goal for the meeting — is it a cultivation (relationship building) or solicitation (making an ask)? Strategize and plan appropriately (c) MP. You have probably have done it all before, but just double-check the plan and goals a few minutes before the meeting to be sure you’ll follow it and you’ll keep your thoughts in the needed way.
  3. And the last, but not least — remember, it’s not about you personally (even it is important too). It’s all about the donor and their relationship with your nonprofit and a cause (c) Kathy Guillaume-DelemarDon’t let your fear stop you from inspiring. Breathe (again, but it worth it), smile and share why it is important to care about the cause and how effectively your nonprofit is solving the issue.

So, how do you feel now?

Open the door / Pick up the phone / Start an email — and have the best of fundraisers’ luck!


Anna Kanterova,

Atlas Corps fellow working on ending chronic homelessness with Development team of Miriam’s Kitchen

BONUS: A small trick to make your body feel comfortable too — do some “power posing” — stand in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident to affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success (c) Amy Cuddy. Yes, some of the findings presented in this TED talk have been referenced in an ongoing debate among social scientists about robustness and reproducibility, but using this trick is easy and won’t take a long to try.