Monday, July 23, 2012

Tips For The Aspiring Fundraiser

It's not easy being a fundraiser. Asking people for money, especially in the middle of a down economy, can be a nerve-wracking experience. This can cause those who are just beginning this job to want to apologize for even asking for assistance with your cause.

This is exactly the wrong approach to take.

During nonprofit software giant Blackbaud's recent Conference for Nonprofits, Timothy Winkler, CEO of Winkler Consulting Group in Charleston, S.C, said you should never feel sorry for fundraising. He argued that talking to donors with an apologetic tone sends mixed messages.

If you are an aspiring fundraiser, Winkler offered the following suggestions to hone your craft:

  • People don't want to hear "sorry." By saying this, you send the message that your mission isn't really that urgent, which is the opposite of what you want to convey.
  • When you ask for a donation as if it is a burden, donors will believe that it is.
  • Communicate the need. Donors need to feel that your mission is worth the money -- so make your case for giving as strong as ever.
  • Be confident. Like a bad cold, confidence can spread from person to person. Let your donors catch your enthusiasm for the mission.


  1. "You should never feel sorry for fundraising." Great advice. When I used to make calls looking for potential donors and sponsors for a fundraising event, I would apologize if the person on the other end sounded even the slightest bit agitated. I never thought that may be sending the wrong message as far as the urgency of our need for funding our particular cause. Thank you for the important reminder! You should never feel sorry for asking for donations to a worthy cause.

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