Fundraisers Reveal Most Anxious Moments
19 May 2011 at 10:01 am
Fundraisers say trying to get Not for Profit board members involved in fundraising and making a call to a prospective new donor are two of the most challenging and anxious moments in their jobs, according to an informal online poll by the US Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
AFP's website homepage Quick Poll, conducted in the months of March and early April, gave visitors to its website six choices of what causes them the most apprehension in their job.
Asked to select just one of the choices, the largest percentage said they get apprehensive about trying to find ways to involve board members into the crucial fundraising role (26 percent).
President and CEO of AFP, Andrew Watt says board members play an important role in fundraising because they are great spokespersons for the charity they serve and they can speak with authority on the impact of the organization.
However, Watt says many board members focus more on the fiscal management and operations aspects of their responsibilities, and it can be challenging for fundraisers to get them involved in raising money.
In addition, more fundraisers said they get anxious making a "cold call" to a prospective new donor than asking for money from a major donor. One in four fundraisers said they get most anxious about calling prospective donors, while making a major gift ask, often the culmination of several conversations and extensive cultivation with a donor, ranked lower (18 percent).
AFP member Laura Fredricks, long-time fundraiser and author of The Ask says fundraisers get nervous about calling prospective donors because there is an element of the unknown, but she believes that once they prepare for the different responses they might get, and treat the call as a true conversation, making a ‘cold call' can be as natural as speaking with people they do know.
Roughly one in ten fundraisers said that they become most apprehensive writing a grant application. Writing fundraising copy and working with new technology, however, seem to be less worrisome, with few choosing these as the top concern.
Andrew Watt says a lot of people think fundraising is simply about making phone calls and asking for money, but fundraising professionals do much more performing an important service to charitable organizations by acting as a bridge between a current or prospective donor and the worthy cause he or she cares dearly about.
Here’s a break down of the responses to the Poll Question:
Fundraising can be exhilarating, but also nerve-wracking at times. What part of your job makes you the most apprehensive? (838 total responses – conducted Feb. 28 to April 17, 2011)
Making the ask to a major donor – 18%
Making a call to a prospective donor – 25 %
Trying to get your board involved in fundraising – 26%
Writing fundraising copy – 6%
Writing a grant application – 12%
Working with new technology – 5%
Other – 8%
The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents 30,000 members in 222 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. Link http://www.afpnet.org