January 30, 2015

Boards, cold calls make fundraisers anxious


Calling on prospective donors and getting boards involved in fundraising are among fundraisers' most anxiety-producing activities, a new poll says.

Among 838 people who took a Quick Poll on the website of the Association of Fundraising Executives, about 26 percent of respondents said finding ways to involve board members in development is their most stressful activity.

"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," Andrew Watt, president and CEO of the association, says in a statement.

A close second, at 25 percent, was making cold calls to prospective donors, causing more stress than asking for a gift from a major donor, which 18 percent said makes them most anxious.

"While they can be nerve-wracking at first, these [cold] calls are a great way for fundraisers to spread the word about their organization, and in the process meet new people, get valuable feedback and expand their organization's base of support," Laura Fredericks, a veteran fundraiser and author, says in a statement.

Writing grant applications, writing fundraising copy and working with new technology are significantly less stressful for fundraisers, the poll indicates.

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