Whether they love or hate it, business leaders must accept how vital fundraising is to the success of their company. They won’t acquire needed resources without knowing how to pitch their products and services, whether it’s the latest fitness watch or offering affordable home construction cleaning services. That is especially critical during the first few years when profits are not enough to thrust a company to greater heights. Investors should be in your corner to offer their support and advice. Having funds from outside sources will be a big help in sustaining operations and finding growth opportunities.
Finding interested donors and investors, however, is not a walk in the park. It takes resilience and commitment to care and cultivate the relationship so that you can get that sweet yes. One fundraising event or initiative is not enough to create a community of fans, who will patronize the business and share it with their network.
If you’re not used to fundraising, it’s natural to feel anxious about the process. After all, it’s not easy to ask other people for their help and support. There is a certain level of vulnerability that is needed in fundraising. Thankfully, the skill can be learned with the proper training and mindset. Here are some negative misconceptions you must remove first, to be a successful fundraiser.
Asking people to invest is like begging.
It’s easy to equate fundraising to begging, but this mindset only serves to become a roadblock. Fundraising is not asking people for money in exchange for nothing. You are selling a transformative idea and product that will let potential investors earn more than what they initially gave. Think of it as a delayed reward system with high returns. One way that can help you get out of this thinking process is to reframe fundraising as storytelling. Focus on connecting with the people in front of you and igniting their interests and passions. When you put the spotlight on what the investors are getting in return for their support, it becomes easier to get them on board.
I should stop after many rejections.
Like any new venture, failure and rejections are only part of the course, especially if you’re starting. What you should do is learn how to learn from your mistakes and come out stronger and better. That’s the secret of successful people like Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. They didn’t stop after the first, second, or even eleventh rejection. You must pick yourself up after falling and try and try again until you can succeed. The same is true with fundraising. Who knows if the next big-time investor is just a call away?
Fundraising is a talent you’re born with.
People are born with their strengths and weaknesses. But they’re not shackled to these traits until the day of their death. Growth is always possible through deliberate practice. Being good at fundraising is the same way. It’s a muscle that you need to exercise until it becomes stronger and leaner. Fundraising, after all, is more than asking for money. You need to be a good storyteller, listener, and persuasive speaker. There are all well-sought out competencies that everybody needs, and not just in fundraising.
Fundraising will seem scary at first, but with enough exposure and practice, people can become good at their job. The first step is to shun away from negative thoughts and focus on developing your skills for the success of the business.