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  • Writer's pictureAndy at Fireside Fundraising

How to say no.

I both can't believe it's February already, and also can't believe it's only February - it felt like January lasted 3 minutes and 6 years all at the same time. 

I don't know about you but I'm back in the pattern of biting off more than I can chew, and... trying to chew it. The eternal fundraiser's struggle. 

Many of us are working in the world of social good and aways feel there's more to be done, so we bite off more than we can chew and just start chewing. I have probably done that 150 or maybe 200 times, but this year, after some difficult conversations with my coach, I was brought back to a famous saying.

“If you don't make time for your wellness, you're forced to make time for your illness."

Having had a pretty major stomach flare up of the chronic condition I live with, I have realised that this saying really matters.

There are warning signs that our bodies give us and very often we battle through and ignore them. Obviously I'm talking about myself here, but I know that a lot of fundraisers struggle with this too, and I wanted to share one of the most helpful tools I've known for combatting this overwhelm. 

The 'Nine Nos of Fundraising', developed by The Management Centre, are the nine ways a donor can say no to your fundraising ask. Its a really powerful framework for handling objections, and I would really recommend, particularly if you're a high value fundraiser reading the article.

But I'm not bringing it to you as a way to handle objections, instead I'm bringing it to you as a guide to framing objections yourself.

Saying no can be really hard. What this Management Centre article gives you is nine ways that you can say no, with only one that actually means no. You can say 'no, not me', 'no, not now', "No, not you", all of which are different to 'no, go away'.

No, not me

In my business, I'm looking at what I can outsource and how I can delegate. I am delighted to be working with Lucy closely over the following months to make sure that all the client deliverables that I've promised happen on time to the quality we all expect.

No, not now

I'm as easily distracted as a robin surrounded by tin foil. I have so many ideas that I want to action and I want to do them all now. Actually practising prioritisation and saying 'I'll come back to that later' has been really powerful. I have been pushing deadlines, I have been scheduling my calendar a lot more strictly and the space that that is giving me is allowing more meaningful 'yes'es. 

No, go away

There are sometimes opportunities that just feel wrong in your gut. You're offered the opportunity to do something that yes, could lead to money for your organisation, but is going to suck before, during and afterwards. And you can just see it. It's more of a raging bin fire than a red flag of an opportunity. There's been one or two of those that I've had to say no to.

I should be clear, I'm not talking about anyone on this newsletter. I've been offered sales opportunities outside the charity sector, and while I considered them, I just don't care that much about helping companies make money if there isn't any social good in it, and being able to own that and say no to it, has been really helpful.

That's only three of the nine 'Nos', I'd really recommend checking out the article here.

It can be scary to say no, but I want you to know that I'm in your corner. 

See you by the Fireside, 


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