Your Guide: Conquering the Development Mountain as a Nonprofit

Are your legs burning yet? If you’ve been following along with me in this series about conquering the development incline, they must be!

If you’re joining me for the first time, we’ve already covered a good bit of ground talking about how to position yourself as a champion in your community and what it takes to have the heart of a champion.

Today, I’m exploring a big topic: overcoming your fears.

Being a champion doesn’t mean that things don’t make you uncomfortable… it means simply doing those things anyway. Conquering the development mountain requires taking risks and frequently going out of your comfort zone. You must confront anything that causes you to consider inaction or takes your focus away from what is important.

  • Do you fear the media? Is it because your media management policy isn’t up to date?
  • Are you uncomfortable asking for a large gift? It’s one thing to ask for $50 or even $500… but are you comfortable asking for $5,000? $50,000? Are you clear on what motivates people to give? Have you taken to heart what the Bible tells us about giving?
  • Do you fear speaking in front of an audience? Can you walk into a room of people you don’t know and start networking?
  • Are you unfamiliar with your key messages? Is it challenging for you to tailor those messages to target different audiences?
  • Do you feel insecure when training and educating your staff? Especially those who come in contact with your donors and potential donors?
  • Do you avoid conflict? Are you afraid you might offend someone on staff?

Believe me, I understand all too well how fear can paralyze you, if you let it.

Nearly a year ago I was faced with one of the scariest situations of my life. I was newly widowed and completely unsure of my future. Do I continue working? Should I keep my house? How do I change the filter on the furnace?

I had so many questions and so few answers. I relied on my faith more than ever to get me through those dark days and help shine a light to guide my path. It was during that time I came up with the following acronym to help me conquer my fears. It has become so important to my daily existence, and my prayer is that it will inspire you as well.

Today, I challenge you to find ways to conquer your fears. To be BRAVE!

Be bold! Now is not the time to be timid. Remember, 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Research! With thousands of resources available at your fingertips you can always find a few minutes to fit online research into your busy schedule.

Ask! Don’t be afraid to ask for help because there are countless people (ahem, like me) who are available and eager to lend a helping hand.

View! Observe others, attend seminars and view webinars to learn from people who have faced similar situations and can share their wisdom.

Engage! There comes a time when you can no longer sit on the sidelines – you must simply jump in and engage yourself.

In my experience being BRAVE, I’ve learned that I’m usually more afraid of failing than I am of the actual task itself. Perhaps you feel the same. But when you give yourself permission to fail and still step forward in faith, that’s when the fear dissipates… and often when the best things happen!

If you find yourself struggling with anxiety and apprehension about your development program, fear not. I’m here as your Brewer Academy consultant and mentor to walk alongside you and help you overcome your fears.

Confronting your fears gives you the boldness to achieve anything – regardless of the obstacles. Confronting your fears allows you to take the next steps and climb that next mountain. I know there is a champion inside you, so let’s be BRAVE together and boldly tackle that next big adventure!

Brewer Academy – led by Shellie Speer – offers personalized guidance, training and mentorship on issues like development and key messaging. And that help is just an email away!

Email Shellie now.

  • Shellie Speer

    Shellie Speer-Burnett, Senior Vice President, BDI Academy

    With over 30 years of partnership in Rescue Missions and nonprofit organizations, Shellie Speer-Burnett brings her expertise, counsel and philanthropic-centered passion to assist in furthering the work of BDI’s Rescue Mission clients. For 22 years of her career, she served as the Founder and President/CEO of her own agency, ENEX Group, which helped her clients capture hearts and donor loyalty in their communities.

More fuel for more impact.

Let's talk.