In today’s episode, Lindsay Simonds talks to Julie Ordoñez about courageous fundraising, exploring uncharted territory, and navigating challenging conversations in the nonprofit space. If you expect your donor to give at extraordinary levels, you need to step it up and make that first move!

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Compelling phrases to inspire extraordinary giving!

You can handle it. You can handle how you're going to feel when you're asking for more, you can handle that feeling. You are tough enough. You're strong enough. You're courageous enough. You just need to go for it and find out, find out how… Click To Tweet

Ask for more!

There are so many issues, local to global, that it seems almost impossible to find a solution to all of them: poverty, access to education, clean water, housing, human trafficking… you name it. Furthermore, there are a ton of other issues that seem to be reaching a tipping point like climate change and the refugee crisis. 

But you know what? We already have the solutions to many of these problems. The nonprofit space exists to mend these issues through participation and programming. It’s a matter of time, energy, and resources to make it happen. This is a hard question: if there is enough money out there, are we fundraisers doing enough to activate extraordinary giving? Organizations need stability. They need overhead funding. And they need ambitious goals to fulfill their missions. If we have the guts to solicit bigger gifts, we can see the change. 

Introducing Julie Ordoñez

My guest today is Julie Ordoñez, change agent, challenger, bonafide fundraiser, and risk-taker with over a decade of experience in the nonprofit space. Since 2018, she has helped CEOs, EDs, founders, and heads of fundraising raise 5-, 6-, and 7-figure gifts from individuals, without risking relationships. Julie has an enormous wealth of energy, power, and knowledge, she knows how and why you should be asking for bigger and better gifts from your donors today. 

In this conversation, Julie and I talk about courageous fundraising, exploring uncharted territory, and navigating challenging conversations in the nonprofit space. If you expect your donor to give at extraordinary levels, you need to step it up and make that first move. Yes, it will require you to get out of your comfort zone and stop making excuses for small throw-away gifts. But being courageous is not the same as being fearless, it’s feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Remember your mission is bigger than your comfort. Plus, we need to start asking from a place of power, and stop accepting crumbs when we need (and want) the whole pie!

I promise you will finish this episode feeling inspired and pumped. As I mentioned in conversation, if you ever lose your fundraising mojo, Julie is the one to put you back on track. Plus, I’ve left some of Julie’s wise advice below so you can read them, and let it sink in!

Key Takeaways: 

2:17 – Who is Julie Ordoñez? A changemaker, challenger, and risk-taker in the nonprofit space helping organizations build better relationships and get bigger gifts.

6:55 – Be courageous, not fearless!: why we need to bear in mind that our mission is more important than our comfort or fear.

10:59 – What if they say “no?” What if I’m wrong? How to get valuable information from every “no” that comes your way and use it to improve your next ask.

23:33 – Declining throw-away gifts: owning your organization’s influence and asking for more!

36.49 – Resist making assumptions and leave your comfort zone: the difference between being subservient and serving in harmony.

43:55 – How to get in touch with Julie, plus her parting words of wisdom about how we can solve global issues. 

Notes and tips from this conversation:

  • Be courageous, not fearless: It’s almost unreal to hope for a time when you won’t feel fear around making an as. As we grow, challenges grow as well and we are constantly asked to leave our comfort zone and strive for more. Being courageous is not about not feeling fear, it’s about being confident and making the ask anyway.
  • Remember it’s not about you: Many times we limit our asks or our interaction because we are scared of how we will be perceived. But guess what? It’s not about you as an individual, it’s about your organization’s relationship with that donor. Are you representing boldness and strength? Or mellowness and insecurity?
  • Be humble: Courage comes from humility. Knowing your limitations and strengths will root you in a way that nothing else can and when you’ve found that sense of stability within your identity, you can undertake any challenge without it making your value waver. 
  • Ask for more: Don’t base your ask solely on your previous ask. Maybe last year someone gave $10,000, that doesn’t mean this year you should only ask for $15,000. Be bold and stop asking for what they are comfortable giving but to an investment-level gift. Say to them, “I’d love for you to step up you’re giving this year. Will you consider giving more?”
  • Offer multi-year gifts: Multi-year gifts bring many benefits to your organization like stability, long-lasting relationships, and the possibility of building safety funds. But it also has many upsides for your donors! Tell them about this new way of giving, who else is already on board, and the long-term benefits it will bring to both parties!
  • Leave your comfort zone!: Fundraisers tend to make excuses on behalf of their donors. Maybe it’s COVID-19, an economic crisis, or feeling like it’s too soon. Is it really about them? Or is it about fear of making a bigger and better ask?

Favorite quotes:

  • “A lot of people expect that it’s going to take 5+ years to raise a transformational size gift from someone, but it really depends on the connection and the personal relationship. You can move really fast when you go really deep” 
  • “Every human being wants to be significant. They want to matter. They want to do something that changes the world in some way.”
  • “When you’re courageous you still very much feel fear. Courage is who you are, not what you feel.” 
  • “You are going to be afraid at that moment, and that’s okay. But it’s not enough reason to not ask the question. It’s not enough reason to not move forward. The mission is bigger than our comfort.” 
  • “Courage is rooted in humility. Humility is about thinking of ourselves less. So when we’re asking the question, ‘what do I do if I hear no’, we’re still focused on ourselves” 

Connect with Julie Ordoñez

Through LinkedIn, and Instagram

Episode Resources

Julie Ordoñez