top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe MSG Team


A failure. Honestly, who doesn't have one of those days at times? Perhaps you didn't get that donor like you were hoping to. Perhaps a grant you spent a lot of time on got denied or perhaps you are nearing the end of your fiscal year and you are wondering how in the world you are going to meet goal after this COVID season. Things like this can really ruin your day.

Let me start out by saying this . . . YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!!!! You are just a human being. What human being enjoys not meeting a goal, being denied a grant, or being told NO by a donor? Sure, some people are able to play it off quicker and better than others but even then . . . no one actually ENJOYS being rejected.

If we just described your situation let me toss you three thoughts:

1) Try not to take it personal - This is tough because if you represent your organization, it is easy to think that YOU got rejected. Being told NO is not a personal attack on you. Sometimes being told NO has nothing to do with you but the situation the other party might be in.

2) If the first you don't succeed - We all know what comes next . . . "try, try again". So simple yet so . . . so . . . well . . . hard to do. Why? When you fail at something the first time, it can be scary to think what might happen if you fail a second time. Don't let that mindset stop you.

In baseball we expect a good batter to be someone who hits over 30%. In basketball we say a good three point shooter is someone who shoots 40%. In hockey we say that a good shooting percentage is 14%. So why do you expect to be successful 100% of the time?

3) Challenge yourself to be better - This is the part that is most important. It's ok to fail BUT what can you do to make the situation better the next time? Take some time to evaluate improvements. How can you better plan your giving program? How can you better educate that donor you missed out on? How can you write that grant better the next time? Do you need help putting a strategic or resource development plan together? Fundraising is not an easy task. If it were, everyone would be doing it. However the best fundraisers are the ones who are able to do the above and find success in the next challenge.


Midwest Studies Group help nonprofits to increase their resource development capacity by connecting them stronger to their community by way of feasibility studies, community impact studies, and planned giving studies. We also offer coaching with capital campaigns and EOS. For more information please visit

14 views0 comments
bottom of page