Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tell me NO, please!

I'm doing a series about my Secrets to Success in non-profit management.

Of course, this means that I am putting myself out there as someone who has had success.  And if you're like me, some days you feel successful, but other days, not so much

One thing to remember in fundraising is

Secret #2:

Sometimes A NO Is Just As Good As A YES

Sounds weird doesn't it?

But seriously, if you have been courting a donor for months and sometimes years (my friend Linda Schoelkopf calls this "Chasing Maybe" and has a consulting business using the same name) and they just keep telling you they just aren't ready to make a decision, letting you take them to lunch but keep putting you off, etc. -- wouldn't you just rather have them tell you NO so you can move on?

With a NO you can move on to another prospect -- and maybe get a YES.  I'd much rather have a gracious no -- and who knows, if you made a good impression upon that donor, they may come back to you -- or even introduce you to someone who will be interested in your cause.

This also applies to grant writing.  People, do not apply to foundations that will not fund your agency.  It wastes your time and it wastes theirs. 

More Secrets to come!


  1. As a funder they should buy your lunch and not string you long.

    1. For sure, Jill -- you sound like my kind of donor! Thanks for reading!