146: Secrets to Fundraising Confidence & Success with Lydia Fenet

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“And I realized, like everything that we do in life, we create the words that people use around us. So if you want to be seen as the most powerful woman in the room, you have to believe it and you have to use that word to describe yourself.”

– Lydia Fenet
Episode #146


In this episode of What the Fundraising Podcast…

Our guest today, Lydia Fenet, is an inspiration in the world of charity and fundraising. Her career began at the world-renowned Christie’s Auction House, where she carved a niche as one of the few young female charity auctioneers in the sector. After 24 fulfilling years, Lydia embarked on her own entrepreneurial journey by founding the Lydia Fenet Agency, dedicated to charity auctioneering. Her books The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You and Claim Your Confidence have echoed her learnings and insights, creating ripples across readers globally. She’s driven by the core belief in the power of confidence and the need for authenticity in being successful, either on stage or in life.

Seeking to shatter fundraising norms and challenge the scarcity mindset, Lydia aims to diversify auctioneers and create an inclusive atmosphere in the world of fundraising.


Lydia Fenet


  • Many thanks to our sponsor, Constant Contact for making this episode possible. Our friends at Constant Contact provide nonprofit leaders like you with cutting-edge email and social media management tools. Want to craft emails that shine on every device or manage your social media effortlessly? And for those moments you’re at a loss for words, their AI Content Generator, powered by ChatGPT, delivers engaging messages in mere seconds. For a platform that amplifies your marketing, saves time, and drives growth, look no further than Constant Contact. Get started with your risk-free trial using the promo code ‘MALLORY’ for 30% off your first three months. Discover more at www.constantcontact.com/mallory.
  • If you haven’t already, please visit our new What the Fundraising community forum. Check it out and join the conversation at this link.
  • If you’re looking to raise more from the right funders, then you’ll want to check out my Power Partners Formula, a step-by-step approach to identifying the optimal partners for your organization. This free masterclass offers a great starting point

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Get to know Lydia Fenet:

Lydia Fenet is the founder and CEO of the Lydia Fenet Agency, a boutique agency representing best in class charity auctioneers. Over her two-decade long career, Lydia served as the Global Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships for Christie’s and reshaped the fundraising landscape as the world’s leading charity auctioneer. She has single handedly raised over one billion dollars for more than 800 organizations and broken-down countless barriers for women in the auction industry. Widely recognized for her poise and power onstage, she has stood alongside celebrities including Bruce Springsteen, Hugh Jackman, Elton John, Matt Damon and Jerry Seinfeld to raise record-breaking donations for the most notable charities across the globe. Lydia is the author of two best-selling books, The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You & Claim Your Confidence as well as the podcast host of Claim Your Confidence in collaboration with Rockefeller Center. Her first book was optioned by Netflix in 2022 for a series that will be produced by Chernin Entertainment starring Kiernan Shipka as the lead. Lydia is represented by CAA and travels internationally to speak to companies about unlocking their sales potential, empowering people in the workplace and the art of public speaking. You can follow her auctions, antics, and anecdotes on Instagram @LydiaFenet.


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I teach nonprofit fundraisers to bring in more gifts from the RIGHT donors… so they can stop hounding people for money. Fundraising doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.


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