Are you risk-averse?

Does trying something new just about give you hives?

Some people have an immediate and negative reaction to trying new things. And sometimes, their cautious natures are warranted.

But often they’re not.

So when Seth Godin in a recent post pointed out the foolishness of being afraid of kohlrabi (that’s a bulbous vegetable, in case you didn’t know), I decided to go buy one.

On the upside, I might actually like it — which, as it turns out, I did.

On the downside, if I hated it, I’d have spent a couple of bucks, had a new experience and learned that kohlrabi just isn’t for me.

3 Fundraising Risks with Little Downside

Taking risks on something new is often worthwhile, particularly if the downside of the risks are small. With that in mind, here are three things you might to try as a fundraiser, even if they feel risky.

1. Pick up the phone and call a donor — just to thank them for being part of your organization.

Downside Risk: You feel foolish because they hang up on you.

Upside Reward: They are delighted to hear from you and seriously appreciate your call.

Reality: You’ll most likely leave a message.

2. Invite someone you don’t know well to go for a walk with you.

Downside Risk: They say no, and your ego is slightly bruised.

Upside Reward: You make a new friend and get a little more practice socializing with someone you don’t know well — that’s always helpful, as a fundraiser.

Reality: It’s unlikely that someone will say a flat out no, although they may suggest an alternate activity if walking isn’t their thing.

3. You ask a long-time donor to significantly increase their giving.

Downside Risk: The donor gets angry and stops giving.

Upside Reward: They say yes and increase their gift.

Reality: It’s unusual for someone to become so upset that they stop giving. It’s much more likely that they’ll increase their gift, especially if you present a compelling case for support.

Another Worthwhile Risk for Your Capital Campaign

Here’s another risk that’s probably worth taking…

Try out the Capital Campaign Toolkit for your capital campaign instead of (or in addition to) working with a consultant.

Downside Risk: A small, one-month investment, which is a tiny fraction of the amount you’ll be raising in your campaign. (The Toolkit is cancellable at any time).

Upside Reward: A successful Capital Campaign with you in the driver’s seat! You’ll be in control of your campaign, have the confidence to know exactly what comes next and what to expect, as well as have access to the campaign advisors who are available to answer all of your questions.

Reality: There’s no minimum commitment to trying the Toolkit, so it’s practically risk-free and all reward.

The Bottom Line…

Often, it’s worth taking a risk on trying something new, particularly if the downside of making a mistake is quite low.


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