How to Recover from your most Awkward Fundraising Moments

Whoa, can we talk about being awkward here for a moment?

I am so awkward sometimes.

We’ve all stumbled, we’ve all been awkward with fundraising

For example I am really bad at letting a silence just be
And so I foolishly rush to fill it

AND WHOA so stupid because people need silence to make a decision

I seem to make this mistake over and over

What are some common fundraising awkward moments?

new glasses shirtless dude

0. Going shirtless to a donor meeting-wow, embarrassing! (but seriously..)

1. When someone tells you they are not ready to give to you, to your face

2. When you call a donor by the wrong name and they know your name

3. When you write an appeal letter but some letters get stuffed in the wrong envelopes!

4. When you send out a fundraising email with the donate link not working

5. When you do a presentation with powerpoint and there is something wrong with your slides

6. When someone in the audience says your cause sucks or your nonprofit is bad or that you’re not paying attention to the REAL ISSUE.

How do you recover from these moments?


2. ANOTHER DEEP BREATH IN 4 counts, OUT 6 counts

3. Have a sense of humor about it!

It’s totally okay to laugh at things going wrong. Say to the donor- Hey, I am so sorry! I called you by the wrong name! Forget my own name half the time! Can we start again?

You might want to have some phrases prepared for various technical snafus -like the “Oops I goofed” email or “Technology is a blessing and a curse sometimes!”

4. Always make sure you can deliver your presentation about your cause, if need be, without the slides.

5. What if a donor says no, to your face? Sit, wait, and watch them. Let them tell you why, if they wish. And if they indicate the reasons, be sympathetic. Do not try to convince them out of what they said they needed. Let it be clear, and real, and all right with you. Preserve the relationship, and make sure to keep in touch with them. You have to learn how to make the best of it.

You’ve got to get good at rejection. This is odd, right? But true. Check out what famous author Robert Daley says about rejection:

He writes, “Tales of rejection any author can tell you-any artist of any kind. Some cannot take rejection, and those are the ones who never get heard.

It takes time, and I wish I had known this then.  Literary talent does not emerge from the marble in polished form. Truths have to be found that are different in quality and weight from those that other authors have found before.

And when the young author has finally managed to write something publishable, he has to learn still another skill, this one completely different from everything so far: how to sell it. ”

You know your cause is important. You know that you have an urgency to raise money now.

But now you have to figure out how to sell it. And you have to keep selling your cause, every day.



This song is called Stumble… so i thought, okay, representing awkwardness I think. That’s what you get. Tinashe jams. THIS WOMAN IS INCREDIBLE. She writes, she sings, she produces, she dances-someday I will see her perform.

Posted in