Jerry Huntsinger

Temptation No. 1: Starting the project by writing the letter.
Here’s what’s happening: You’ve been assigned to create an acquisition package. You’re up for it because you have a great idea. You feel really good about that idea. You are sure it’s a winner. So you sit down and start writing the letter, right? Wrong. The letter is the very last thing you should create.

For this week’s Advisor, FS asked a number of agencies and other companies that serve the nonprofit fundraising sector for tips on making the most of the client/vendor relationship. Here are some of their thoughts. “The No. 1 thing we’ve found is to clearly identify every task, lay it out on a spreadsheet, get agreement before beginning, then update the spreadsheet weekly with the status of each project. This helps to pinpoint problems, document progress, track mission creep and keep clients happy. It’s a technique I took from my Disaster Incident Management System training. They call it a ‘Tasks in Progress’ list.” — Rick

Not long ago, I was shopping at Whole Foods when I realized with a jolt that I was just an appliquéed theme sweater away from turning into my mother.

There I was, squinting helplessly at a product label I couldn’t read. Hoping to auto focus my eyes like a telephoto lens, I stretched the item out as far as my hand would reach and brought it back again to within an inch of my face. No luck.

And Mommy says: “OK, honey. You see, your father and I work very hard to make a nice home for you. We shop for specials at the grocery store, and we’re putting away money for your education, and … “

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