Learning From Other People's Words
You can’t cut your way to greatness.
This is why I regularly tell our staff that we do our best work with growth-oriented nonprofits with a vision to change the world.
Boys are icky.
I repeat this to our daughters regularly, but they don’t appear to be listening …
They’re just fixin’ to begin to commence to start.
I’m impatient with people who overanalyze or overpromise, but never get anything done.
Reality has a way of asserting itself.
Especially in the fundraising profession, we can wish things were different all we please — that ordinary donors gave to complex programs, that we could raise all the revenue we need without spending money on printing and postage, that donors would give to success rather than need, etc. — but in the end, to succeed, we must have the courage to face reality and meet donors where they are, not where we might wish they were.
People look for a reason to feel excluded. And then they begin to hallucinate about it.
This is at the root of much relationship pain — in families, among friends and at work. If you pay attention, you’ll discover that this happens all the time. People are hyper-alert to even the possibility of not being wanted (included) — often when this isn’t even the case — and then they concoct reasons for the perceived slight and act out. Be understanding when you see someone do this, and be aware when you are tempted to do this! It can save a lot of pain.
The economy is like a train with business as the engine. There will always be people in the back of the train, but the way to help the caboose move forward is not to slow down the engine.
The application of this truth to fundraising is wonderful. A nonprofit is like a train with fundraising propelling the program forward. When advocacy or program people get impatient with the attention paid to fundraising, it’s remarkably shortsighted. One nonprofit executive, faced with complaints from the advocacy staff, said, “Well, we could cut back on all this fundraising. It’s just that when we didn’t do the fundraising, we didn’t have any budget for advocacy or program staff.” Point. Game. Match.