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Overcoming Rejection: Messages from a Frontline Fundraiser

Frontline fundraisers face a difficult reality of low donation rate, especially when cold calling. How can you increase your success? Morgan Martell, self-described Zillennial and assistant director of development at Texas Tech University, has advice. By shifting her perspective to learn and listen as much as possible, she’s built rapport with her donors and increased her success rate. Martell has learned how to turn rejection into learning, create a culture of service, and align her donors’ interests with opportunities at her university.

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • How to face constant rejection without fear
  • Why fundraising is merely helping people align their resources with their interests
  • How Millennials and Gen Z are poised to change the fundraising industryAs an Accidental Fundraiser and Chief Everything Officer, what do you prioritize – your organization’s viability or your ultimate mission and purpose? Many think you have to choose one or the other to be successful

Season 2 Episode 9 Transcript

Morgan Martell: To step up to the plate, you have to prove yourself. My wish for other people that are seeing younger individuals come on to their team, maybe not as season fundraising professionals or advancement professionals, just know that you were once in their shoes and regardless of their expertise, they were there because they’re willing to learn. And how are they going to be willing to learn if, if you don’t give them at least any opportunity to show their strengths and in their own ways

Kimberly: Frontline fundraising is difficult. That’s no surprise to anyone, but what separates the winners from the rest of the crowd? Hmm. What is it? Are there common traits or practices that can lead to success? The answer is yes. And Morgan Martell, Assistant Director of Development at Texas tech University, has made the shift from student to passionate fundraiser for her university.

And as quickly climbed the ranks in her development department, despite it typically low success rate and cold calling Martell has learned. How’d it turn rejection into a chance for personal connection for her? No, simply means no, not right now. And so in this episode of accidental fundraiser, continue listening to learn how to change your mindset around asking for money and donations and how you can change your mindset and truly create a culture of service so that you can meet your donors where they are.

A self-described Zillow, lineal Martell has timeless advice for frontline fundraisers looking to hone their craft.

Morgan, I’m so excited to have you on Accidental Fundraiser and today. I want to really chat with you about how you can fall into fundraising. You can fall into fundraising while you’re in college, you can fall into fundraising early in your career and find it as a perfect fit. Share with us a little bit about how that happened for you.

My job as an Accidental Fundraiser is certainly accidental. I grew up in Miami, Florida and my whole life was centered around the stage. I grew up as a musical theater performer and just loved that community engagement interaction. I’m looking back at theater I worked out as a non-profit organization. And so we had galas every year. I got to get a taste just what being philanthropic meant from not only the individuals who came to our theater and our show was time after time again, but also seeing how altruistic they were in making sure that those opportunities were really locked in for the next generation of young performers, new performers, seasoned performers. In addition to that, I, I went to an all girls school where our annual funds was a pretty, pretty big component to the year throughout the year. And so we got to learn a lot about just how serving others and putting yourself outside of your own shoes and into the shoes of others really is just a transformational way to not only develop your values and develop who you are as a person, but also see how you can lend those things to other people in other communities. So I’ve always been centered around philanthropy and with that always knew that I wanted to do something that was bigger and outside of myself, I wasn’t sure if that was going to be the stage loved the passion for musical theater. But I was always interested in going to law school too. And so double-edged sword there. Considered going to law school pretty much by the time I was in high school. That was my plan. Whenever it came down to coming to Texas Tech, I got good scholarship offers to come here. And that’s how I ended up in Lubbock, Texas as, uh, someone who was born and raised in Miami and then moved to Austin at 14 and got to have the best of both worlds quite literally. West Texas is very different from the rest of the state and just that collegiality and that humble nature is a place where I really feel like I’ve been able to fully develop as a young woman and have a sense of clarity as to what my strengths are and really how I could also help encourage other people to promote their strengths too. Of course, I’ve always been one that likes to stay busy and just came on campus, needing a job as a, of young and broke freshmen. And I found a student position titled Non-profit Representative looked a little better than maybe a banquet hall server. And the schedule looked a little more flexible. And that is how I found fundraising. So I started working at the annual fund in October, 2015, which was my freshman year. And I worked at the call center for about a year and a half. And during that time I raised over $50,000. And aside from that, just love the capability to be able to connect with so many different types of people who all found Tech in a different way. Maybe accidental, maybe not. Maybe they grew up with family and there are third generation, fourth generation Red Raider, or the same, maybe they were able to come to Tech because of scholarship offers or just that sense of purpose and pride. I think one thing that Tech that’s so unique, it’s just that sense of go getter attitude. We have very prominent institutions in our states that are competitive to get into. And so sometimes when kids come to Tech, they really want to prove themselves. And I think we’ve been able to do that in the last 100 years. After working at the call center for about a year and a half and connecting with so many different types of individuals, they all have the same common interest, which was Texas Tech. So a long roundabout way to say life takes you in a lot of different directions, but I think ultimately just listening to your intuition and your gut and that call to a public service that initially attracted me to law, I very well I’m able to do that with fundraising in a more tangible, transformative way in my opinion.

Kimberly: Oh, I love that Because you have long felt this desire to serve in one way or another. To share your gifts and to share your gifts either on the stage or through non-profit work and fundraising. You wouldn’t think it does, but it truly fits together because it’s all about the mission and the purpose and to serve and help others. How does fundraising help you serve others? There’s a double-edged sword to that in the best way. There’s two sides of the coin that you are not only serving the donors that have a passion and an interest that you can help facilitate. But you’re helping serve the communities that, that generosity impacts. And that’s the dynamic that I truly love of being a frontline fundraiser is just being that middle man. Really not being a shark, so to speak. I think that’s the misconception with fundraisers or with fundraising and just fundraisers in general. There’s that old joke of, oh, don’t tell people you’re a fundraiser because people are going to grab their wallet and take a step back from the conversation. I really want people to understand that we’re here to just be advisors and advise you on the opportunities that do align with your interests and make sure that we’re showing that return on impact to them along the way. And aside from that, I think just helping them understand what they’re passionate about. There’s so many donors that have just given, because they’ve been asked, but they’ve never been asked why. And I think driving that point home it’s, it’s very foundational to the work we do.

I want to step over to the call center because I feel like it takes a person with incredible confidence and drive to go and make calls from a call center. Share that experience with us. What was that like?

Morgan Martell: I enjoyed it. It definitely takes a certain type of grit and resilience. For every 10 calls you make, you might get one person on the phone and maybe that one person might give you a gift. So the close rate is definitely much different from what we’re used to in frontline fundraising, but I loved it and I thought it was a lot of fun. Of course, it’s challenging on those days where you’re looking forward to speaking with people and you might just be hitting voicemails, busy line, so on and so forth. But then that makes it even more fulfilling when you do get to have that, um, transformative conversation. And aside from that, I got to learn so much about the disciplines across the university. I got to learn about the students who are sitting in the cubicle next to me, or on the phone next to me. and it was fun in the sense of the strategy I play. Right. I mean, you don’t really have a strategy that blank paper analogy. Of course, it depends on if it’s a first time donor relapsed, um, and the way he thought about the phone call, but I loved having the open roadmap because I really like to focus on building that rapport, which each prospect I reached on a phone call and as much as I could within that timeframe to try to keep up with reaching more individuals. Being able to build that rapport in a quick and kind of furious way with so many different types of peoples across different disciplines, really show just a transferable, I guess that inherent value that Texas Tech provides. We’re pretty young institution and being able to learn all the different things that our alum are doing, what their respective degrees, and it’s not going to be the same anywhere you go. Um, I would say that was really what was most fun was seeing the passion that our Red Raiders have for the university. Share some stories. What were some of the cool things that people would say to you when you would call?

I’ll never forget. I think the main donor story that struck me, and of course this was one that went on for about 30 minutes. Fortunately it didn’t lead to a gift at the end of the day, but it was an older alum who was actually at Texas Tech in the 1940s, and was deployed out for World War II. I think he was on the beach in Normandy. So to hear his experience as a 19 year old getting deployed and drafted while a student, and then not only his experience that, but that just happened to almost every college .Student on campus at that time. And seeing that most of the students ended up coming right back right after they were done serving serve in the United States and he came back, finished his degree and stayed at Tech for a little bit. But ultimately he was very grateful for the resources and the connections and networks that he made at Texas Tech, because he felt that they were pretty formative in his time in the military. It’s always been interesting to me just to hear the wayward paths of all of our alumni. And that’s one that struck me of, wow, that’s a sense of resilience and grit that, um, we need to remind ourselves that there is no one wayward path, but ultimately, you’ll come out stronger from it.

Kimberly: Well, I’m sure. I’m sure. Now, um, how, what was the largest gift that you received when you were doing the calls?

Morgan Martell: I want to say it was about $6,000. Most of the time you’re closing smaller guests about, you know, 500, maybe 100. I would say my average gift was about anywhere between one 50 to 200. Um, so pretty high volume that you’re trying to close to raise a million dollars with an not a single fundraising year. I was always envious when a student got a Chevron three to one match when they had that three to one match. And I think someone brought in $36,000 and they rang the bell. And it can work in your favor if you allow. And I think ultimately trusting that process, which the turnover at the call center was pretty high because you get told no, a lot more than the yes’s and you have to hang on for those yeses because there’ll be right when the timing’s right.

Kimberly: Ah, that’s a really good point being right when the time is right. And maintaining the connection is so important. I’m asking these questions because a lot of people get nervous about calling donors. Were you nervous as you started out and were there any tricks that you picked up on that helped you just have a better way to connect faster with donors or prospects that you were reaching out to?

Morgan Martell: I was certainly nervous. I served in a restaurant before I went and started working at the call center. And when P when patrons are coming into a restaurant, they’re offering you the money. They want to get something out of it. And thinking of the flip end of that, it was a little daunting to say the least. But I will say what was successful with me and navigating those conversations. And those experiences was really focusing on the rapport. We had our script, we had our placemats to help, um, facilitate just some quick points of pride for whichever organization or whichever college we’re speaking from. You want to always have to get to an ask within a pretty good timeframe, especially on those first time donor phone calls, because they’re going to start questioning. Being able to hone in from the outset of why you’re recalling why this is a value to them, we want to make sure that we’re in contact with you. We have your updated employer information and updated address so that you can be in the loop of what’s going on on campus. But we also want to offer the opportunities for you to be involved as well. I say are meaningful to you. And I think for me, after a good month or two on the phones, I realized that my strength was focusing on that rapport and focusing on what that individual made them tick, because you can focus on the script, but not everyone is a blueprint of a script. Everyone has different paths. And so trying to find that roadmap and not saying too fixated on, the script and the questions. I think one of the best traits you can be in fundraising is just being authentic and genuine to yourself. And that’s going to pay dividends down the road.

Kimberly: I absolutely agree. The authentic. Be clear. I would also add, listen to whomever you’re speaking with. You do not have to share every single program. Every single initiative that your organization is doing. The rule of thumb is typically if you’re doing a donor or prospect in person meeting, you want them to speak, speak 70% of the time and you 30% of the time. Because you really want to get to know them and then see what, what might interest them, related to your organization. Morgan, I bet you have got this down to a science. Any tips that you can share about those, those in-person, major donors or new donor meetings that you might have, those one-on-one?

Morgan Martell: It’s paramount to the work that we do, that we’re good listeners, because how can, you know how to advise and guide if you don’t listen and understand really what they want. And some folks are more than willing to share that than others. And so it is a balance of kind of learning how to navigate those conversations from a very donor centric and people centric way. And I think listening from a sense of just curiosity and also admiration. So letting them know that you’re a resource for them. Um, and that, that is exactly why you are in the position as a development or fundraiser, advancement professional, either in a nonprofit or a higher ed institution. I think just letting them understand that you’re here to listen, learn, and then advise and guide as appropriate. But you’re not going to necessarily pigeonhole them, um, in a direction that they’re not happy with. And if that’s the case, you maybe didn’t listen from, from the beginning. And it’s just so paramount to the work that we do.

Kimberly: Right. So you can’t have cookie cutter conversations. They each need to be tailored for that person. In some cases, if it’s a major donor prospect, you’re going to do some serious research around that. What kind of research do you do before you meet with a prospective donor?

Morgan Martell: So earlier you mentioned just the fact of you don’t need to know everything in the book. I’m in a very large college. We have over 45 disciplines, 15 departments, 11,000 students, which is bigger than Texas Christian University, TCU in Fort Worth. So very big college with varying disciplines. very different alumni, very different faculty, very different student needs. And so you really can’t know everything that’s going on. That was very overwhelming at first, especially coming out of the call center, when you have those placemats rather readily available. It’s just not possible to do within everything that we have going on with an arts and sciences. So with that, I would say my preparation and research before a visit is pretty simple. I try to read as many things I can, as I can about them, whether it’s readily available on LinkedIn or just online. And then aside from that, look at their past giving, look at their patterns of behavior within their relationship to Texas Tech and our foundation. Was there, some years lapsed of, they were giving annually at substantial dropped off only recently came up to the surface. Those are the type of data points that I like to keep in the back of my head to prepare myself before a meeting, of course their major and ultimately their graduate year. So I can kind of put myself in how was Texas Tech at the time that they were here. Just if there’s any relevant contact reports beforehand reading those, but not trying to do so much of a historical context because you’re going to hopefully find that within the first conversation, if you’re listening and asking the right questions. And I think a blank paper analogy, in my opinion is one of the best ways to go about a first time visit, because you don’t want to be too fixated on a strategy in place. Just doing it, picking up the phone and realizing this is a person that it’s just like me. We’re all people and you just have to put yourself out there and. Get to know that person. And once you have met with them in whatever way you have phone, webinar, in person, how do you then record some of the notes? So talk with us a little bit about the important piece of knowledge management? That’s been definitely a good learning opportunity in the last three years of my career. A, you’re on your donors timeline. You’re not on your own timeline. So just trusting the process. And being able to pivot in any circumstances, so, so invaluable to being a frontline fundraiser. And just looking for those cues, but in terms of kind of that moves management, it’s absolutely critical to the work that we do. And Tech has done a great job in the last three years, emphasizing that because we have a lot of alumni love to visit. Have they been solicited? Maybe not. And so trying to do some of that retraining of, Hey, let’s move the needle in a way that’s productive, efficient. It’s not pigeonholing the donors to just a single priority that might not be aligned with them. Um, but also trust the process at naturally, if you do your due diligence of checking in with them, following through, and then to your point, keeping those important notes and data points along the way, that will really help just not only keep you sane in the sense of if you’re managing a big caseload, but also just provide clarity. The moment I get off the phone with someone, I use an app called Asana which is a project management platform. So the minute I get off the phone, I’ll type up the notes from the conversation. And then from there at another sub task to do a thank you note, relevant follow-up and then it’s all localized to that one person. Or along the way as well, if I see them pop up on a gift report, um, I want to make sure that I’m giving them a quick, thank you call or at least just a handwritten note. So going to add that into their record as well. And then on the flip side, making sure that all the contact reports in these things are in our internal database as well.

You’re tracking touches, which is important. And that’s great when you’re doing, you know, major gift work. You want to be able to know how frequently you’re touching them or through what channel. For annual fund, you may not have all of those touches if you’re a smaller organization noted, except that you’ll see that an email was sent or a call was made or whatever. It’s a little less important because the whole thinking around it is that you’ll be able to connect with them. And if they’re ready for an upgrade and you’re seeing gifts coming in and there’s an increase gift amount or they’re giving more frequently, they’re ripe for an upgrade. Morgan, how do you manage upgrades?

I like to look at them in the sense of focusing on did their gift from the previous year accomplish their goals. They’re not going to upgrade if that’s not the case. It’s like buying the same phone that didn’t work the previous time. And so focusing on just delivering that switched impact report, even for $150 gift. With the annual fund that’s so impactful to reach out to a first-time donor say, Hey, this is what we did with this fund if it was a discretionary fund or if it was to a very specific fund for field trips, so to speak, just even sending them a photo from that, and then making sure, Hey, what’s the story behind the scenes of why you gave this a hundred dollars? What did you want to accomplish? We want to ensure that we’re doing that down the road and hopefully doubling your impact. And that question there of did that accomplish their goals will be very telling of a, their inclination to continue supporting that initiative or it might tell you that maybe they’re interested in supporting the marching band uniforms rather than a field trip. And I think just letting them know that we have a vested interest in understanding that they want to give to things that they’re passionate about. And that’s what we’re here to facilitate.

Kimberly: I’m going to switch gears a little bit and talk about the fact that you are a Zenniall. And you’ve been out of college for a few years, and you’ve been fundraising throughout your college career. So you certainly have the street cred, but not everybody might see that. Let’s talk about that. How do you show up as a bad-ass fundraiser? No matter what age you are. There you are ready to support your organization, right? In your case, Texas Tech. And, and show everyone that it doesn’t matter how old I am. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been fundraising, accidental or not. I’m here with a purpose I’m professional. And I want to be the best fundraiser that there is. How do you show up that way?

That was one thing where it caught me off guard when I came into the workforce. You’re kind of set off your way and told that you are ready to hit the workforce and go, people are going to take you seriously that you have a degree and they’re going to, um, give you the respect that you deserve. And quite honestly, you have to earn that respect. But I do think it was challenging to come out of a place like Texas Tech, where I do feel they mold tremendous students that are industry ready and a lot of different ways. That 1995 to 2000 sweet spot is a very unique spot to be in because so much of our childhood experience isn’t relatable to the older millennials. And then quite frankly, my sister was born in the year 2000 and our childhood experience is vastly different in the sense of how quick technology transforms. But then addition to that, understanding that this is what everyone goes through in the workforce when they come on. To step up to the plate, you have to prove yourself. My wish for other people that are seeing younger individuals come on to their team, maybe not as season fundraising professionals or advancement professionals, just know that you were once in their shoes and regardless of their expertise, they were there because they’re willing to learn. And how are they going to be willing to learn if, if you don’t give them at least any opportunity to show their strengths and in their own ways. And maybe it might not be the strengths that you’re used to. Maybe you’re really used to hopping on the phones. And the younger generation is really good at fundraising via video, right? They can really hit those inboxes with personalized videos. I think just understanding that everyone has a different way of going about their work. Easier said than done. I will say a lot of it is just getting out of your own head sometimes and believing in yourself and being authentic to yourself. You don’t need to be an expert in biochemistry to facilitate a biochemistry gift. But you can’t be an expert in managing relationships, building off strategy in place. And that’s just the point that I try to drive home. And I think the beauty of fundraising is that you’re always learning.

Kimberly: I agree. I agree. And I can remember when I was 26, I was an Executive Director of a small nonprofit. I’d been on their development committee and they hired me in as the Executive Director. I had all kinds of, people say things to me about how young I was. I 100% hear you on the ageism piece, and how that can be a challenge to overcome. Personally, I think we feel more more vulnerable about that than we truly are. Because there are so many successful people who are young. And so I would just encourage our listeners who are out there, who might consider themselves younger than the average and whatever they’re doing, who cares. Right. Who cares? Use it to your leverage. Yeah. I’m young and I have a good career and I love what I do. I feel so blessed to be able to say that at 24 years old that I love what I do and it not everyone has that privilege. And I think also bringing that passion to the workplace where irrespective of age can pay dividends down the road. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. What are some of the things that you’ve learned that you think an Accidental Fundraiser could truly benefit from hearing?

Morgan Martell: Trust the process. I think of course, sometimes in frontline fundraising work, especially coming out of the call center where you’re having those quick close rates, it is quite the opposite and major gift in frontline fundraising with that 12 to 18 month window. And knowing that you’re planting the seeds along the way, and ultimately it’s seeds that will bear fruit, for the organization that you serve and the donors you serve. It’s what I try to think about every single day when I walk into the office. Because it could feel like you’re spinning your wheels, or it could feel like some of the frustrating aspects that our jobs have added, other red tape, so on and so forth might get a little frustrating at times, but knowing that it’s all for the greater good of serving your communities is very, very important. And I say all that because I have had some challenges in my three years in the sense of not only a global pandemic, but also lots of turnover. When I was promoted to arts and sciences, I was only 22 came on board. My counterpart took a new position over at a different institution. And so I was alone. I mean, within four or five months on the job, I did not know what I was doing. I’m in a huge college with 15 departments and it was very overwhelming, very much. You’re drinking from a fire hose. Give yourself grace when it’s due. Know that the work that you are doing, even if it does seem as quote unquote remedial as putting in contact reports or doing scrubs or doing stage moves or sitting down and doing those, thank you notes. Those are the parts that all play into the bigger piece. And so just knowing that those serve a value when it does feel like those things are taking away from the aspects of your job that you love are very important. Again, you’re going to make mistakes and that’s a part of learning. I’ve never been one to not ask the question the room or say they don’t know something. And there were times there where, you know, I almost felt, um, as though that was a bad thing to do because I was the only one on the team and people are looking to me for questions. You, you expect to give them an answer and it’s okay for you to have to say, Hey, let me get back with you on this and get you a solid and efficient and effective answer. That’s going to work best for you. Or also saying, Hey, I can’t take this on right now for X, Y, Z reasons. Um, but let me connect you to someone who can, and those are some of the challenges that I definitely have learned along the way and would say, just trust the process.

Trust it. And, and I think also feel comfortable with the fact that things are gonna happen. They’re gonna go wrong. You’re gonna do something in some way or another. Like that is inevitable. What has surprised you about fundraising?

Morgan Martell: The people, quite frankly. The people that I get to work with, not only at Texas Tech, we have a great team who were excited to grow and just those professional development opportunities there that I feel So blessed to be here at this institution. And the donors that we serve and the faculty that we serve and the students that we serve. There’s so many stories that, again, just continue to strike me each day of, I feel so lucky to do the work that I do. There are people who are just so happy to be able to write you a check, and you never thought that you could have someone thank you for giving them the opportunity to give. And when you, hear that, it makes it all the more fulfilling. I remember back in the day, when I was out fundraising, is that 26 year old executive director, there was some sexism that was going on and I was placed in it in uncomfortable situations. Now it was just me going out and raising money and, and having these dinners with these, older men who potentially could make very large major gifts to the organization. Quite honestly, they would try and proposition me and I, that happened. That’s a reality of the profession. I had female mentors and I would go and I call them and I would say, Hey, you know, I had lunch with this person. I thought he was married. Yeah. He’s married. Why? And I’m like, oh my God, I just had a really uncomfortable lunch where he asked me what I would like. If he could support me, what would that be? And I said, well, I would really appreciate a major gift to my organization. He’s like, I’m not talking about to your organization. I’m talking about to you. And I was like, oh my goodness. This is going in a direction I did not even imagine. It’s something that we don’t often talk about in the field. Has anything like that happened to you? I hate to hear that you went through that experience. And unfortunately, it’s one that’s very similar to apparently 75% of frontline fundraisers have had some sort of sexual harassment or I’ve been in an uncomfortable position like that being on the front line. I will say I’m happy to discuss it for that reason just to be prepared. I do feel lucky and my training program through Texas Tech, that they did preface that, that this does happen not only to female fundraisers, but this does happen to just as many men as it does women. And luckily, we had some of those tools in place when I was going through the training program three years ago at the system to discuss that this is a possibility that this does happen if it ever does. You’re not obligated to meet with that individual. We want to know, and we want to mark it where it’s appropriate. I think my advice would be, um, just that we keep discussing it it’s uncomfortable. Of course, it’s nothing to say of the industry itself. It just it’s systemic across a lot of different things. In fundraising is just one of those places where it’s more frequent because they feel like if you can offer, if they’re offering you something and they’re giving you a check or potentially wants to give down the road, that there could be some sort of compromise there, or some sort of transactional nature there. Some people might mean, well, then they just don’t know how to say the thing that they want to say. Maybe they’re complimenting you and then in a good way, and it just comes off a little uncomfortable or awkward. I feel very, very lucky that Tech has always driven that point home that you do not need to talk to someone that makes you uncomfortable, of course, and ever puts you in an unsafe position. We will take any generous dollars we can, but if there’s going to be some sort of transactional nature tied to that, then we have many other generous folks that we can focus on. I really loved what you’re saying, which is so true. We do not need any gifts that are coming from someone who is making a person, making you, if you’re the fundraiser uncomfortable in any way, shape or form. but it’s hard to know because there are lots of gray areas. The example that I gave, I had to meet with this person three times before I realized there was no gift coming, and it was extremely uncomfortable. It was a really horrible experience. I did feel very fortunate that I could share it with my mentors so that they could also hear it and give me advice because this was someone who was very well-known in the community and was not known in that way. It’s a very delicate thing because there are reputations at play and there’s just the discomfort. It happens often. If you are an outgoing person, it’s like, it’s almost like there, it could be any, there could be any reason why it happens. Um, it’s just being able to nip it in the bud and, and confront the situation. Um, and maybe even be very direct with that person.

Don’t let yourself continue to be uncomfortable by working with someone who’s just not respecting you quite frankly, and not respecting the organization that they supposedly love and want to serve. You have those resources and places and people in place to go to, and if you don’t, certainly find a mentor that you trust and value to relay some of these comments. and it’s who you are at the end of the day. Right. And I think, focusing on what you know is best for you in that circumstance will be what’s best for the organization.

Kimberly: What’s best you is best for the organization. Yeah. I love that.

Here are some key takeaways from today’s interview. How do you face constant rejection without fear? Well, you know, the more you do it, the less awkward you’d feel. So get out there and just keep on giving it a try. And if it feels really awkward to you, or if you feel like you just don’t have the time, then you need to schedule the time, do it every Friday morning or you know, twice a week, but put time on your calendar, block it out to make those calls.

another key takeaway is why fundraising is merely helping people align their resources with their interests. So consider yourself as an impact consultant. As a relationship manager, you are not asking for donations. You’re asking to connect someone who is passionate about a cause to the actual.

Kimberly: Of actually making a difference in their cause in that mission area. So be that change for those people. Another key takeaways around how millennials and gen Z individuals are poised to change the fundraising industry, you know, fundraising is evolving from top to bottom. Change is truly happening right now.

And so I think it can be very helpful to look at your organization, look within it and really see where that change is happening and what you can do to be a catalyst for it. Because when you accept change and embrace the future, you can move so much faster. I love this saying, let go or be dragged when it comes to fundraising at your organization and some of the strategies that you have in place, just from a leadership standpoint, are there things that you can let go?

So you’re no longer being dragged by them and you might say to me, well, our board. What if you were to have a Frank conversation with them, or you have a Frank conversation with your boss about some of these changes, they don’t necessarily have to happen overnight, but when you start discussing them and you start laying down a foundation for change, then it can happen and you truly become that change agent.

And then another piece of this is, um, as a leader, let’s say that you have, um, volunteers, or you have a staff and they’re millennials or gen Z really dive in and better understand their motivations and how you can help each. And every one of them unleash their true potential so that they continue to love working in this sector.

We have a lot of turnover in the nonprofit sector. How can you help? Retain this incredible talent that we have around us.

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