In Fundraising Too: Fake It Till You Make It

By March 30, 2016July 7th, 2018Culture Change, Fundraising

A huge “ah ha” moment about nonprofits and helping you raise money hit me recently. But before I share it, let me give you some background.

I spend nearly all of my working hours teaching, training, and coaching nonprofit staff and board members how to raise more money. I use the lens of storytelling and share best practices for fundraising and communications.

All of my work is focused on helping as many nonprofit organizations and people as possible — raise money, usually MORE money, from individual donors.

The $300+ million I’ve helped organizations raise so far is nothing to sneeze at. Frankly, it even astounds me.

I work to make the training and coaching sessions I deliver fun and easy to dive into.

Plenty of time is spent in discussion and even practicing some of the tools participants have learned. People learn stuff. They get inspired. And many go off and do amazing things with the tools and systems they’ve learned.

But some don’t.

And here’s where my “ah ha” moment happened. As I was pondering why a recent volunteer gig I took on was an abysmal failure I realized this:
[box type=”shadow”]The Executive Director couldn’t see their organization as ever being successful in their fundraising. [/box]

Without the acceptance of eventual success or the “fake it till you make it” attitude that most people I work with have, they were never, ever, going to succeed in raising more money.

And then I read this: “You Need to Practice Being Your Future Self” by Peter Bregman in Harvard Business Review.

Wham! I got it.
[box type=”shadow”]“Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They are both running, but being busy is running in place.” [/box]

When someone like executive director “Curt” is too busy to meet with donors and inviting them to give more money. When someone decides the organization cannot and will not change the way they are doing their fundraising. AND staff or volunteer leadership really do not believe anyone will contribute at levels higher than they are already raising. . .then it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s true. Donors won’t give more.

When you read the Harvard Business Review post view from a lens of: How is our organization keeping itself stuck and our ability to raise money at a plateau?

And ask yourself and your team these questions from the post:
“If you want to be productive, the first question you need to ask yourself is: What do I want to be? Another question is: Where do I want to go?


Creating meaningful connections with your donors means sharing stories that inspire. Learn 5 Essential Storytelling Secrets to raise money.

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