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the phrase, Grit, Grace and Gratitude

Every Fundraiser Needs Grace

career donors fundraisers fundraising Dec 05, 2022

This is the second in a three-part series on why fundraisers need gritgrace and gratitude.


Today I’m diving into the attribute of grace. If you’ve been a fundraiser for any length of time, you know there are times when you need grace.
  • It might be grace under pressure (“Don’t let them see you sweat”)
  • It could be a grace period (“Yes, we are able extend your pledge payment period”)
  • You may have to execute a graceful move (as you shimmy through a sea of wine glasses to greet a donor at a crowded event)
  • We are unfailingly gracious to our donors, prospects, and champions (“No problem that you misremembered our appointment! Let's reschedule. What does your calendar look like for next week?)”

To me, grace means kindness and approaching people or situations with a welcoming heart and open attitude. Acting with grace means overlooking frustrations, being considerate and thoughtful.

Grace may be the most important characteristic we need for success.

Grace offers the ease to keep our lives as moving smoothly as we navigate the delights and challenges of working in the nonprofit sector.

Let’s face it, as a fundraiser you have the joy of connecting with a wide variety of people: donors, volunteers, board members and team members. And introverts and extroverts; the emotional and factual; the elderly, the young, and every one else; the fans and the haters

Happily, I find that nearly every fundraiser handles situations with grace when it comes to donors, volunteers and prospectsSometimes, though, I find that we fundraisers may be more gracious with external audiences than our internal teams. For some, it feels harder to maintain composure, squelch irritations, and rise above pettiness when it comes to our colleagues. We should be extending our well-practiced grace with them, too!

Here's a method I use when I find my grace wearing thin: I imagine that today, possibly this person’s favorite pet ran away. Or they recently had confirmation of a serious health problem. Or their job was eliminated. Next time you're feeling less-than-gracious toward someone, give it a try. 

As fundraisers we have big hearts. Acting with grace allows others to see just how big our hearts are, from every angle.


Previously published May 16, 2017.

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