Commitment Over Technique
A dependable revenue stream that grows—ah, paradise!
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Anyone who knows me knows a constant mantra of mine is “principles over process.” If fundraisers get that one piece, they save themselves much frustration, many disappointments, and many, many headaches.
The second mantra that I’ve often heard repeated is similar. It’s “commitment over technique.”
Recently, I spoke with an executive director, development officer and board member of a small social service charity. It was a conference bridge so everyone got to join in. They had reached out through this column to discuss how to move beyond stagnation in their fundraising results. Boy, was it revealing.
What struck me was their preoccupation with perfection in the small niceties—their preoccupation with fine-tuning the status quo. They saw every real or perceived failure of their past efforts as the result of a lack of perfection in technique or someone dropping the ball. Recriminations abounded. They were absolutely obsessed with tweaking what they were already doing.
Doing things well does matter. Getting the details right does make a difference.
But… Making a commitment to be effective in fundraising is so much more important than polishing your technique or clinging to an established effort.
Making a commitment means doing whatever it takes. It means re-evaluating everything—all the time. It means change. It means risk. It means fear. It means the real possibility of failure.
It means not hiding behind ridiculous statements, such as “we’ve always done it that way,” or “we’re different here.” I’m amazed how responsible adults can actually say these sorts of things straight-faced and assume they will be taken seriously.
Larry believes in the power of relationships and the power of philanthropy to create a better place and transform lives.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles. His mission is to give nonprofits and philanthropists alike the opportunity to achieve their shared visions. With more than 25 years of experience in charitable fundraising and philanthropy, Larry knows that financial sustainability and scalability is possible for any nonprofit organization or charitable cause and is dependent on neither size nor resources but instead with the commitment to create a shared vision.
Larry is the author of the award-wining book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising." He is the Association of Fundraising Professionals' 2010 Outstanding Development Executive and has ranked in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the United States by the Wall Street Business Network.
Larry is the creator of the revolutionary online fundraising training platform, The Oracle League.
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