Hearing, ‘No,’ can be hard; it dims confidence. But it is also an opportunity to grow as a fundraiser, improve communications, and open new doors to donor engagement. Sue Dressel, Consultant & Event Manager at OneCause, explores how any donor response is a good one.


February 23, 2023 – Episode # 76

It’s Just a Two-Letter Word

As a fundraising leader, it’s part of the job to ask for money. And hearing, ‘No,’ {more often than ‘Yes,‘} comes with the territory. There’s no doubt harnessing the fear of rejection is essential to growing the mission. Fear can be a barrier to development. Shying away from a single ask can mean a missed financial reward. But how do you get comfortable and embrace that unpleasant two-letter word?

In this episode, we’re joined by Sue Dressel, Consultant & Event Manager at OneCause. Prior to joining the company, Sue held various positions responsible for donor relations and stewardship. She takes a moment from her current role to share her development experience and expertise, conveying a bright perspective to negative responses.

Sue discusses:

  • Fundraising is about relationships.
  • Negative responses are not personal.
  • Creative approach to harnessing the uncomfortable.
  • “No’ is an open door for communication, not the ending.
  • Opportunities born from unfavorable responses.

Related Reading and Resources
Donor Communication Guide: Creating the Ideal Communications Cadence
Donor Communications Panel with NXUnite

(If you are a nonprofit and would like to be a guest on Raise Nation Radio to feature your mission and impact, contact Dawn Lego.)