3 ways to break out of your comfort zone and raise more money

Yesterday, I did something that scared me…

I did my very first LIVE video stream.

Getting ready to broadcast live has inspired me to ask a question of you today…

Do you ever wonder if your comfort zone is holding you back from fundraising success?

So, back in January of this year, I set myself a New Year’s resolution – I was going to get over my fear of being on camera, and start making videos to share some of best tips and practical ideas from 20+ years of fundraising.

I got my equipment, got all set up, created an outline of talking points…

And 19 TAKES LATER – I kid you not – I had my final product.

I was hard to break out of that comfort zone at first, but it got easier with practice – I started to relax in front of the camera, and become more comfortable every time.

And this is exactly what’s going to happen when you start pushing outside your comfort zone.

I want to bring you some practical tips today on how to start getting uncomfortable in order to grow your fundraising.

You can watch the video replay below – I’ve also included a recap of my top tips if you scroll down.

Let’s jump right in…

1. Ease into it

Just like with my videos, I didn’t go straight to live broadcasting – I started with short videos of under 2 minutes, and practiced, made mistakes, and grew my comfort zone.

If you’re like a lot of fundraisers I work with, chances are, you’d like to have more one on one interaction with your major donors, or you’d like to pick up the phone more often to have more meaningful conversations with your donors.

The key here is – don’t start with your toughest customer first!

Start with a donor you know a little, someone who is closer to the organization - and take baby steps out of your comfort zone.

The more conversations and meeting you have, the more your comfort zone will grow.

2. Embrace your nerves

I just finished Elton John’s new autobiography - very entertaining, and a good read if you’re an Elton fan, or you’re interested in music or pop culture!

He said something that really resonated with me.

He said he still gets nervous every time he performs, even after 50 years – and he’s glad for it, because the second you stop getting nervous, you start calling it in.

Your nerves are actually playing an important role – they’re keeping you alert, keeping you focused, and even better – they’re a great signal that you’re growing by moving out of your comfort zone.

So instead of trying to push away the feeling of nervousness, think about accepting or embracing it – as Elton points out, it can actually improve your performance.

3. Get an accountability partner

Confession time!

This is a super busy week of travel, client commitments and deadlines – likely the only reason I’m sticking to this commitment of going live is because I put it in writing in an email last week to a couple of my colleagues.

So listen, if you want to stay accountable and do something you might otherwise procrastinate on, find yourself an accountability partner.

In fact, just putting a commitment in writing can be a powerful motivator…

So, if you’re watching this live, or you’re watching the reply, leave me comment and let me know – how would you like to break out of you comfort zone in order to grow your fundraising?

Thank you for watching today – whether you are joining us live or watching the reply, I’m so grateful you took time out of your busy schedule to spend it with me.

Emma Lewzey, CFRE is an award-winning fundraising expert

with 20+ years experience raising millions of dollars across the arts, education, health and human services sectors. If you want to raise more 5, 6 and even 7-figure donations your non-profit, you can download Emma’s free Blueprint for Major Gift Success, and learn the 4 crucial steps to raising big gifts (at any size shop!)

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