What’s Stopping You from Raising Major Gifts?
Part 1 of 5: Self-Doubt
Do you ever wish you could raise major gifts, but simply aren’t sure if you can?
Maybe your organization doesn’t have the right:
- board members
- executive director
Or maybe it’s time you don’t have enough of.
Or maybe, just maybe, deep down inside you’re worried that you don’t have the skills, confidence, or know-how to really raise major gifts.
The First Step in Defeating Self-Doubt
This is Part 1 of a 5-part miniseries called, What’s Stopping You from Raising Major Gifts?
Whatever the excuse, if you’re thinking “I’m not sure I can do it,” read on!
We’ll address the issues of time, donors, board members, and more in later parts of this series, but for today, we’re going to look inward.
If you’re not confident you can raise major gifts, then you probably won’t.
Today is all about saying, “Yes, I can!”
Take your FIRST meaningful action.
I want you to find a mirror. Right now. (That’s right, I’ll wait.)
Look in said mirror and look yourself in the eye, and say “Yes, I can raise major gifts!”
This is an important first step. Even if you skipped repeating this affirmation in front of a mirror now, make sure you do it after reading this post. Affirmations do work.
Breaking the Cycle of Inaction
I’m sure you’ve heard the definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
So my first question to you is this:
What are you going to do differently this year to have a different result?
The answer: You need to take action.
When was the last time you asked someone for a major gift? If the answer was not this month or last month, or maybe even ever, no wonder you’re not raising major gifts!
If you don’t ask, you won’t get.
As you probably know, the first rule of fundraising is: thou shalt ask and ye shall receive. If you don’t ask, you won’t get.
I was speaking with a coaching client the other day, and she told me that one of her biggest donors hadn’t give yet this year. My next question to her was simple: had she asked for a specific amount?
After hemming and hawing for just a moment, she acknowledged that “No,” she hadn’t.
So my question should have really been, “What’s stopping you from asking?”
In many cases, the answer is a lack of experience and, therefore, a lack of confidence. In other words, self-doubt.
3 Tips for Crushing Your Major Gift Raising Self-Doubt
If you doubt your ability to raise major gifts due to a lack of experience, these three tips are just what the doctor ordered.
1. Ask yourself: What have I got to lose?
You can’t lose anything you don’t already have. If you ask, and they say “No,” you’re no worse off than before you asked.
2. Think about what’s at stake.
What if they say “Yes”? Picture yourself announcing the gift to your executive director, your board, your friends and colleagues.
3. Why not you?
Go back to the mirror. Tell yourself, “Yes I can” over and over, and louder and louder, until you believe it.
If others can do it, so can you.
And why not you? You work for an important cause. You’re a good person. And everyone who’s ever raised a major gift started somewhere… just like you.
After reading this post, your self-doubt about raising major gifts should be starting to melt away. If it’s not, or if you have other concerns, I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below.
If you’re still not convinced you can raise major gifts, stay tuned for parts 2 through 5 of this series. We’ll address other obstacles (other than yourself) that might be standing in your way.
This is part 1 of 5 of a 5-part miniseries: What’s Stopping You from Raising Major Gifts? Be sure to read the other posts to overcome every obstacle to raising major gifts — because you can do it!