Take imperfect action to improve your fundraising

I see you there, my perfectionist fundraising friend!

I spotted you so easily because I also struggle mightily with my own Type A tendencies.

If there is one important lesson I’ve learned in starting my own business, it’s that taking imperfect action is far superior to taking no action at all.

Often, when we feel we aren’t ready, or we don’t have all the facts, we’re actually getting in our own way, and sabotaging our chances of success.

Do you find yourself hesitating too often, waiting for perfect conditions before taking action to move towards your goals?

Read on for some inspiration to help you take that imperfect next step towards better fundraising.

Trust yourself

Pick up the phone, and make that donor call.

You don’t need a perfect script. You don’t need to have all the answers.

Stay present. Be ready to ask some great questions. Listen deeply.

You already have everything you need to have a great conversation with your supporters – trust yourself!

The more you do it, the more your confidence will grow, and the easier each call will get. Who knows - you might even start looking forward to making your donor calls!

We’re only human after all

If there is any part of fundraising that most reinforces our perfectionist tendencies, I’d say it’s working with major donors.

There is such a fear of approaching a major donor with anything less than perfect polish – and I think that can hold fundraisers back from doing our most effective work.

It’s important to remember that major donors are human too. They experience the same joys, the same pain, and they care about the cause just like you do.

Of course, I’m not suggesting you do sloppy work, show up to a meeting looking disheveled, or send a proposal riddled with typos or inaccuracies.

What I am saying is that most donors would prefer to hear back from you quickly/authentically rather than a month down the road/perfectly.

Challenge yourself

Is there just one imperfect action you can take this week to move your fundraising forward?

Have you been waiting for perfect conditions to make a call? Book a donor meeting? Have a difficult conversation with a co-worker?

Set yourself a goal to take just one imperfect action this week – go ahead and schedule it right into your calendar so you don’t forget. And if you want an accountability partner, drop me a line and let me know your plans! I’m at [email protected], and I’d love to hear from you.

And on that note, I’ll bid you farewell until next week – I can’t write the perfect conclusion to this article, because I have an important imperfect call to make!

Hi! I'm Emma Lewzey. I’ve been helping great causes like yours build and grow successful fundraising programs since 1995. Do you suspect that you could be raising much more money, much more effectively? Let's chat about how you can strategically focus your precious resources on the fundraising initiatives that truly work. Thanks for reading, and hope to hear from you soon!

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