How to Give First-Time Fundraisers a Confidence Boost

Whether it’s fresh talent on your team or a board member you’ve drafted to help make an ask, people often find fundraising intimidating, especially if they’re doing it for the first time. Asking for money can be nerve-wracking, and the fear of hearing “no” may hold people back from making the best possible case for support. 

You can’t be there to give a pep talk before every meeting with a prospective donor—but you can take steps to instill confidence in your fundraisers. Use these strategies to give your people the confidence boost they need to help your nonprofit meet your fundraising goals. 

Let them know that it’s okay to make mistakes

If someone’s first fundraising experience is a negative one, they may be less likely to agree to help in future—which is a real problem if you’re trying to build an organization where fundraising is a communal effort. Striking a careful balance between optimism and realism is key. Make sure that your fundraiser knows it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the outcome you want, while still providing encouragement and support. Talking about learnings from your own mistakes can also help to foster an environment where people feel comfortable trying, missing the mark, and growing from the experience.

Encourage them to practice 

Doing anything for the first time is scary—so don’t let the first time be in front of a potential donor. Encouraging first-time fundraisers to try delivering their pitch in front of a mirror or to a family member or peer can help them figure out what they want to say ahead of time and smooth out any awkward parts of their script. Providing a list of common objections is also a good way to minimize stage fright, since it allows your fundraiser to mentally prepare. 

Invest in mentorship 

As you grow your fundraising team, seek to create mentorship opportunities for those new to the profession. Pairing these employees with seasoned fundraisers not only provides them with a source of knowledge, support, and constructive feedback as they grow in confidence, but also demonstrates that your organization is committed to their professional development. To get the most out of mentorship, offer training and support for the mentors themselves, such as providing access to the LinkedIn Learning course “Being a good mentor.” 

Create a confident, world-class fundraising team

Give your fundraisers the tools they need to be tackle their work with confidence. Whether it’s access to LinkedIn Learning to help them develop skills like public speaking, or a fundraising solution that enables them to build and cultivate stronger relationships, LinkedIn for Nonprofits can help you take your team to the next level. 

Contact us today to learn more about our discounted solutions for nonprofits.