When we attempt a new task, most of us usually aren’t that good at it.
It can feel awkward the first time we attempt to ice skate. Presenting for the first time in front of a group can create anxiety. Baking a cake for the first time can be a messy (and, perhaps, a less than tasty) experience.
And. . . we can feel inarticulate and lack confidence when we first invite a donor to give.
We also know, though, that the only way to get better at a task, to gain more confidence, to grow our abilities is to practice.
While getting ourselves in the proper frame of mind is important, simply thinking about doing the task won’t fundamentally get us better at doing it.
Although sharing stories with others of how best to approach the task is helpful, simply talking about doing the task won’t significantly increase our confidence.
While learning is always a good thing, simply seeking more and more education and instruction on doing the task won’t help us become more expert.
We have to do. We need to feel the experience to learn. We have to find the words and phrases that work for us. We have to go through the act in order to get better at it.
So, practice with your colleagues. Set up times to ask each other for major gifts. Stumble through the process with each other. Learn with and from each other. Get better together.
Yes, inviting a significant gift can be an anxiety-producing task.
But your mission – your cause – deserves that you be the best you can be at doing it. When we start doing, we immediately get better.