There are many attitudes and skills you and your team can cultivate to lay the groundwork for mega fundraising success. 

When you think about it, much of everyone’s struggle – or success – starts internally, with their mindset. 

Think about it: What’s going on in your head? Or in the heads of everyone in your team? Are their thoughts positive? Or are they dwelling on negativity and the possibility of failure? 

Your attitude can make or break your success. 

It can launch a team to quickly achieve a goal, or take that same team down in defeat. Just the attitude. 

Here are some attitudes and traits that we foster personally. And, they are really essential for successful fundraisers

These will help you create the momentum to reach a big-time fundraising goal.

Cheerfully Aggressive.

Anyone raising money for an important cause has to be cheerfully aggressive or they will probably fail. 

Years ago, a funder was offering advice to a group of fundraisers in the audience, and I will never forget what he said: 

“You all need to be cheerfully aggressive in promoting your cause to us, because if you don’t, then who will?

How’s that for a stark reminder that if you’re not out there, no one else is doing it. 

Million-dollar mindset.

 The million-dollar mindset is an attitude of “can do.” It’s optimistic and enthusiastic. It expects success. 

When you have this mindset, you’re completely comfortable talking about million-dollar-plus gifts. 

And you are expecting these gifts to happen easily. Talking about it, and expecting it, helps to make it happen.

Attitude of abundance – not scarcity.

Part of the million-dollar mindset is a firm understanding that the world is abundant and that there is plenty of money around to support your cause.

You can’t change the world with an attitude of scarcity. Just like Ted Lasso, you have to believe it’s possible before you can achieve it.

We have no patience for board members or executive leaders who moan and groan about scarcity. This kind of negativity is like shooting yourself in the foot.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a quality that we’d like to see all fundraisers focus on. It makes people more peaceful and fosters self-control. 

We all have been in situations with donors that made us uncomfortable. If you can develop self-awareness and self-control, then you can manage your way out of sticky situations. 

Emotional intelligence helps you understand your own triggers so that you can manage yourself and your reactions. You are able to read both yourself and the donor at the same time. 

The fundraiser’s radar.

The best MGO’s have what we call a radar that focuses on the donor – not on themselves. 

It’s a deep sensitivity to what’s happening in the room. 

Your radar helps pick up your donor’s cues about giving. 

Even more, it helps you stay attentive to the tiniest of hints that your donor’s interest is growing – or declining.

Big ideas raise big money

You’ve heard this one before. The bigger the idea, then the more money you can raise. 

It’s based on vision and possibility.

A decade ago, Stanford University was the first university ever to raise a billion dollars in one year. 

How did they manage to achieve this success? They had “big ideas about who they could be and what they could do.” 

 That’s the ultimate secret of securing transformational gifts for your important work. 

Bottom Line: Your attitude can make or break your success. 

As always, it is a pleasure to share our weekly insights with you as we cover important fundraising strategies. 

If your organization is planning a capital campaign or expanding your major gifts program – we can help. Send an email to if you’d like to schedule a free strategy call with us.