Mental Health as a Lone Fundraiser

Working in the world of fundraising can place a huge amount of strain on mental health. Whether it’s the emotional drain of the charity’s end goals, or the knocks-on-effects of unsuccessful bids for trust/foundation fundraising, it’s important to look at the bigger picture and the contribution and results still achieved. There are many successes and many successful applications.

Often when working on income generation as part of a smaller charity it’s easy to forget that being a lone fundraiser can be exactly that… a lonely place.

It’s different when you are part of a fundraising team, but in smaller charities it can take you to some quite dark places at times. Many of us have been there at one point or another.

On days when all the responses seem to be ‘no’ it is very difficult to maintain that upbeat persona.
Read what Richard suggests to help navigate the emotional rollercoaster of fundraising.

Take time out.

When we’re busy it’s easy to become so embroiled in our ‘to do lists’ that we forget to take a breath and look at the bigger picture. When was the last time you sat back and looked at how your charity really impacts people’s lives? From the smallest acts of kindness to the impressive generosity of others, a proportion of the positives occurring in the community as a direct result of your charity’s hard work, will have also involved your own hard work to achieve. Spend time talking to those who benefit as a reminder.

Don’t focus on what you haven’t achieved.

You will often feel that you’re running in circles. Recognise that the work doesn’t stop and there will always be more that you can do. Celebrate what you have achieved rather than worry about what’s still on the list to do. The small wins are just as important as the big.

Enjoy the successes rather than dwell on the failures.

It would be great if we lived in a world of trust/foundation fundraising where no one said ‘no’, but that will never be the case. Unfortunately, there will never be an unlimited amount of funds available. We receive setbacks even when everything possible has been implemented. For every loss however, another charity will hopefully have benefited. It’s a case of better luck next time and not a failure.

Even a rejected application can hold promise.

Look at all applications as an opportunity even those that were unsuccessful. A rejected application can still be treated as a chance to gather information which can be used elsewhere. It could still help open the lines of communication and raise awareness and recognition of your charity’s hard work.

You’re part of the big picture.

Most importantly remember that whilst fundraising can be difficult you are part of a far bigger picture and instrumental to your charity’s operation. Fundraising consists of many elements. Whether it’s the application process, working together with other integral departments or internal and external communications promoting the charity and the brand. You are part of a team doing so much good in your community!

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place this month from 9th-15th May 2022 as part of The Mental Health Foundation’s bid to promote wellbeing. You’re doing a great job. Never feel disheartened!

If you’re a charity in need of guidance and support, we are here to help through our Trust Fundraiser coaching and mentoring service. Make the most of our internal resources and experience. Get in touch to find out more. Complete the form below or email us at

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