How To Become a Superstar Fundraiser

February 4, 2012

If you’re like most people, you wish you could help your favorite non-profit, church, or school raise more money and do more good work… you wish you could be the superstar fundraiser or rainmaker, or the top-flight event chair, who brings in the resources that the non-profit you love needs.  But, if you’re like most people, you’re also a little bit scared of fundraising… how does it work?  Will people say yes?  Why would they say yes to me?  How do I ask someone for money?

The Antidote to Fear: Knowledge and Practice

Fear in the face of fundraising is understandable.  Most people don’t like talking about money, and with fundraising, well… there’s no way around it.  Anytime you do something for the first time, it’s a little it awkward, and a little unsettling.  It’s the same way with fundraising.  The first time you make a fundraising call, or send out a letter, or try to sell tickets to an event, it seems a little weird – perhaps, even a little frightening.  That’s ok!  Everyone else felt that way too… all those people at the charity you are working with who are fundraising superstars?  They felt the exact same way during their own first calls.

What’s the difference between you and them?  What takes someone from feeling awkward about fundraising to being completely comfortable making fundraising calls and asks?  The answer is: knowledge and practice.

People have been fundraising for a long time.  Over that time, people have learned what works, and what doesn’t.  Fundraising professionals have tested methods, strategies, and tactics, and seen what helps organizations raise money – and what just wastes time and resources.  Likewise, experienced fundraisers have made hundreds, if not thousands, of asks.  They know what succeeds in getting a donation, and what just turns the other person off.  When you start out fundraising… you don’t need to reinvent the wheel!

Instead, study the basics of fundraising: how to make an ask, how to hold an event, how to find prospects and build a fundraising network.  Study what works, and what doesn’t, and learn from those who have been there before.

Don’t Forget the Practice!

The next step is to practice… to run through the material in your head, then out loud… and then to practice fundraising with other people.  Ultimately, you’ll need to actually get out there and do some real fundraising: make some asks, write some letters, hold some events.  The best way to learn fundraising is by doing it.

Yes, you will feel a little unsure and awkward in the beginning, no matter how well-prepared you are.  But armed with the knowledge you gain from our Getting Started Guide (, it won’t be long before you will be fundraising like a real pro.

You CAN Do It!

You can become a better fundraiser, learn best practices, and raise more money for your non-profit organization, church, or school.  How ?  By studying the basics, practicing, and getting out there and giving it a shot.

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