Q. What is the most effective way to solicit funds when one is not comfortable doing so?

A. Predicting discomfort in a future situation is a reaction that can only be undone by building confidence within oneself. So, how do you find your own zen state? Start by “scripting” potential solicitations with real questions and/or objections that will send your heart racing. Practice potential responses.

Work with a seasoned solicitor to learn some of the techniques that help you overcome objections – including those from within yourself.

Remember why you gave to the organization and why you want others to join in your excitement. Note: if you haven’t given yet, give substantially. You cannot ask anyone to give until you yourself have done so. Your amount might not be at the same level as the prospective donor’s, but it will give you an understanding of what it feels like to make a meaningful gift. Moreover, it gives you the authority to ask the prospect to join you in a partnership for success.

And, above all, never say no for the donor. You may be able to think of 50 reasons Mr. and Mrs. X might not give to your organization. Predetermine 50 replies (many answers may be the same but the shear number of potential responses will build your confidence level). But don’t offer any of these objections to the donor. Let them focus on why they shouldn’t give and you focus on convincing them why they should. Exuding confidence in your self and your cause will help everyone feel more comfortable in the meeting – yourself included.