With help from LaShonda Williams, CFRE and Trainer with Fundraising Academy, Julia answers questions covering: How to ‘Try-out’ a nonprofit by volunteering | Overcoming the fear of failure that some fundraisers experience | The impacts of changing your work area of service | Cultivate 2023 conference in June | And finding Confidence through Authenticity.


In this episode of the nonprofit show, co-hosts Julia Patrick and Lashonda Williams address questions from viewers. They begin by discussing an upcoming event called Cultivate 2023, hosted by the Fundraising Academy at National University in San Diego. The event aims to provide opportunities for learning, networking, and gaining philanthropic support. They encourage viewers to register for the conference and highlight the importance of attending.

The hosts then address questions from viewers. The first question is from a viewer from Los Angeles, who asks whether volunteering before applying for a marketing job at a local nonprofit is a good idea. Lashonda suggests that volunteering in a capacity related to the desired job can help individuals determine if it’s the right fit for them. She recommends being transparent with the organization about your intentions and interests. Julia adds that volunteering can also be beneficial for gaining experience and building trust with the organization.

The next question is from someone in Chicago who is nervous about attending a meeting with a prospective donor, fearing they may do something wrong and lose a donation. Lashonda advises the individual to communicate with their development officers and ask for guidance and information about the donor. She suggests being prepared, doing research, and leveraging available resources to add value to the meeting. Julia emphasizes the importance of being confident and authentic during the meeting, as donors can sense passion and enthusiasm.

Another viewer from San Francisco asks about transitioning from a successful career in the arts and culture sector to a position in human services. Lashonda acknowledges that the transition may involve different types of donors and approaches but emphasizes the significance of aligning with the organization’s mission, passion, and purpose. She encourages the viewer to research the organization and understand the culture and history of both sectors. Julia adds that patrons of arts and culture may differ from those in human services, but understanding the unique aspects of each sector can facilitate the transition.

The last question is from someone who admires Lashonda’s confidence and wants to know how long it took her to develop it. Lashonda admits to having hesitations and anxieties but suggests that confidence comes with practice and experience. She recommends attending conferences, joining organizations like Toastmasters, finding a mentor, and engaging in self-talk to boost confidence. Julia adds that authenticity plays a role in building confidence and suggests exploring the topic of code-switching in fundraising, which Lashonda agrees to discuss in a future episode.

The hosts conclude the episode by highlighting the importance of fundraising and development for every individual within an organization, as each role contributes to the success and perception of the cause. They express gratitude to the sponsors who make the show possible and encourage viewers to stay well to do well.

Overall, the episode addresses viewer questions related to volunteering before applying for a nonprofit job, attending meetings with prospective donors, transitioning between sectors, and building confidence in the nonprofit field.

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