Fundraising Decision-Making: Get Moving! Take Action!
A few weeks ago, I was in Atlanta with a client as it publicly announced its campaign. It was very exciting — this client has been incredible to partner with, adding much to the campaign as well as being very disciplined about campaign strategy.
The folks we worked with announced commitments that already were 50 percent more than their original goal! This was because their team of staff and volunteers worked very hard, navigated unexpected challenges and stayed the course.
This great announcement was not the only excitement, as it came when the city was paralyzed for a few days with an ice and snow storm — hundreds of cars stranded on the interstate and thousands of people's commutes turned out to be six, eight or even more hours.
Just a few days ago, I was in Georgia with a full calendar. Forecasts began to pile up for a "storm of record proportions." Institutions began to announce closings and the governor (and subsequently President Barack Obama) declared a state of emergency.
A strategic planning session I was to facilitate was postponed. It looked like I would be snowed in for a few days. Great if I had power and could continue to serve clients. Bad if the prediction of ice came true and I lost power. I processed the decision and finally decided to leave — the next morning. One of our Lighthouse Counsel team members had encouraged me to leave that night.
I successfully escaped the still pending storm, but not without a few harrowing hours of driving on the interstate, passing scores of cars that did not see the need to drive slower for conditions.
We often analyze decisions ... and sometimes wait too long. Your gut is usually right.
We know of one organization that spent nearly three years crafting and redrafting what was to be a five-year strategic plan. Ouch!
"Action will delineate and define you," wrote Thomas Jefferson.
So whether it is a hiring decision, selecting the right volunteers, getting an appeal or newsletter (or blog) written, analyze and get moving. Size the research and deliberation to the importance and duration of the project. Have an action toward bias.
Be ready to weather the storms of fundraising by enhancing your decision-making skills.
So get moving — take action!
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.