In this video, I came across a fantastic resource on dealing with rejection in nonprofit fundraising that would be valuable for anyone interested in fundraising. The creator, Nancy Rieves, provides insightful advice on understanding rejection and maintaining a positive mindset throughout the process. Let’s dive into the key takeaways:

Key Takeaways:

Rejection is not personal: The first step in handling rejection is understanding that it’s not about you personally. As the creator wisely states, “It just means not now.” Remember, it’s about the timing or budget constraints, not your worth or value.

Seek future opportunities: When faced with rejection, inquire about a good time to revisit the conversation or be included in their budget for the following year. This approach shows resilience and a willingness to collaborate.

The “know, like, trust” process: Building a solid relationship with potential donors is crucial. The creator emphasizes the importance of knowing the person, establishing rapport, and gaining their trust before making significant funding requests.

Rejection prevention through relationship building: By focusing on the know, like, and trust process, you can greatly reduce the chances of rejection. Take the time to nurture relationships and foster trust before seeking financial support.

Mindset shift: Adopting a mindset where rejection is viewed as an opportunity for growth can transform how you handle setbacks. It’s not personal; it’s a chance to learn, adapt, and improve your approach.

Personal Best Advice:

After many years in nonprofit work and working with Founders and people who fundraise Nancy’s advice is spot on. We must learn to not take a no personally and use our experience to grow. Fundraising is all about building relationships. When we take the time to understand our donors, we can find win-win situations for both the donor and the organization. It’s at that point we become connectors instead of beggars.



Q: How do I handle rejection in nonprofit fundraising?

A: Understand that rejection is not personal and seek future opportunities by inquiring about timing or budget availability.


Q: How can I build trust with potential donors?

A: Focus on the “know, like, trust” process by establishing relationships, fostering rapport, and demonstrating your organization’s credibility.


Q: How important are relationships in fundraising?

A: Building strong relationships is key to minimizing rejection. Invest time in getting to know potential donors, share your story authentically, and build trust. Meaningful connections increase the likelihood of support.


Q: How can I maintain a positive mindset in the face of rejection?

A: Shift your perspective and view rejection as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Learn from each setback and adapt your approach.


Q: What is the key to long-term success in building a nonprofit organization? 

A: The key to long-term success in building a nonprofit organization lies in building strong relationships, maintaining transparency, and consistently demonstrating the impact of your work. Focus on nurturing connections with donors, volunteers, and stakeholders, and keep them informed about the progress and achievements of your organization.


Remember, founding and building a nonprofit is a journey that requires dedication, perseverance, and adaptability. Embrace the challenges, learn from rejections, and continuously strive to improve your fundraising strategies and organizational impact.


By following the insights shared in the video and incorporating the best practices mentioned above, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate rejection, build meaningful relationships, and lay a solid foundation for your nonprofit’s success.

Resources for Founders

Raise Your First $500

Fundraising Activities to Avoid When You Are New

About Nancy Rieves

Nancy Rieves is a dynamic entrepreneur and business strategist with a passion for helping individuals and organizations achieve their full potential. With over 15 years of experience in leadership and management roles, Nancy has honed her expertise in guiding businesses toward success through innovative strategies and effective implementation.

Nancy has demonstrated a strong commitment to fostering growth and empowering others throughout her career. She is known for her exceptional problem-solving skills, strategic thinking, and ability to navigate complex challenges easily. Nancy’s natural ability to connect with people and her exceptional communication skills allow her to build strong relationships and collaborate effectively with teams and stakeholders.

As a seasoned entrepreneur, Nancy has successfully launched and managed multiple ventures, earning her a reputation for being a visionary and results-oriented professional. Her diverse background spans various industries, including technology, marketing, and consulting, giving her a broad perspective and a deep understanding of business dynamics.

Nancy is deeply committed to continuous learning and personal development. She stays abreast of the latest industry trends and best practices, ensuring that her strategies are always cutting-edge and relevant. Her enthusiasm for knowledge-sharing has led her to become a sought-after speaker and mentor, inspiring others to reach their goals and unlock their true potential.

With a strong belief in the power of collaboration and the importance of building strong networks, Nancy actively participates in professional communities and organizations. She is dedicated to fostering an environment of innovation, creativity, and inclusivity, empowering individuals and businesses to thrive.

Nancy Rieves’s entrepreneurial journey is a testament to her resilience, passion, and unwavering commitment to excellence. Her unwavering belief in the potential of individuals and organizations fuels her drive to impact the business world positively.

Connect with Nancy Rieves:



About the Author

Alesha Mathis is a passionate advocate for nonprofit organizations, dedicated to helping them succeed in creating positive change. With a background in administration, marketing, and fundraising, Alesha understands the challenges faced by new and small nonprofits with limited resources.

As the founder of the Nonprofit Founder’s Club and Mathis Nonprofit Services, Alesha provides valuable resources, coaching, and consulting to empower nonprofit founders and fundraisers. Her mission is to help nonprofits build sustainable infrastructure and secure funding, ensuring their success in making a lasting impact.

Alesha shares her expertise and knowledge in nonprofit management, fundraising strategies, and organizational development through her blog. She offers practical advice, checklists, guides, and insightful blog posts on various topics, including getting started, grant readiness, program development, appeal campaigns, and event planning.

As an experienced fundraiser and mentor, Alesha believes in the compassionate operation of nonprofits as passionate businesses. She advocates leveraging cost-effective fundraising and marketing strategies to maximize impact and encourages collaboration among nonprofits to create new programs and initiatives.

Alesha also authors the book “I HAVE MY 501(C)3! NOW WHAT?!?” which provides a comprehensive blueprint for starting a nonprofit without relying solely on personal funding. Her expertise, dedication, and commitment to empowering nonprofit founders make her a valuable resource for individuals and organizations looking to make a difference in their communities.

Join Alesha on her blog and embark on a learning, growth, and transformation journey in the nonprofit sector. Discover practical tips, inspiring stories, and actionable strategies that will help you navigate the challenges of nonprofit management and fundraising while making a meaningful impact on the causes you care about.

Let’s create a world where nonprofits thrive and positive change becomes a reality.

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