In Fundraising, Does it Matter Who Wins?
I have coached youth baseball in Indianapolis for many years. I love to work with children. The team I coach this year is the 7- to 8-year-old boy's team, the Braves. There are 12 boys on a team. At this age each team has a mix of players where some have played for several years, some have played for one year and some have never played at all.
There are also those boys that have not learned to throw or catch. But those things can be taught. One thing you cannot completely teach, however, is attitude.
I just returned from the field where the Braves played their first game of the season. The first game is exciting as the kids are tired of practicing against themselves and are ready to take on a real opponent. In this league, there is a unique rule: Players must change positions every two innings. This isn't easy as you're trying to teach players how to work with one position and they immediately have to learn another position.
I saw our 12 players as two teams. One team can play today because they know the basics, and the other will develop over time as they grow and learn how to catch and throw. Because of this split-squad interpretation, we will be lucky to win several games this year.
I have good and bad news. The bad news is we were beaten by the Tigers 9-0. We gave it the old college try but need to go back to the drawing board. The good news is when I was talking to the team in the dugout after the game, Preston looked up at me and said, "Coach, who won the game?" I laughed and said, "The Tigers did, but does it really matter? What matters is that you have fun and knowing that the fruits of your labor may not be reflected today but tomorrow."
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at email@example.com or 317-224-1029.