Move With Great Urgency
Relationships are a part of life. They are essential to fundraising, and they take time to develop and deepen.
There are times when an organization is not quite ready for a major campaign. It may mean spending time refining their case, shoring up their staff—but it always includes deepening relationships or making new relationships with prospective donors who can share the organization’s passion and see themselves as a part of the solution to a pressing challenge.
When we give this recommendation—to invest some more time in relationships and capacity building—some clients embrace it right away. They get it. Some organizations feel like it is stopping their momentum. However, the reality is, it is a call for them to increase their momentum and step up the pace!
“You must take action now that will move you towards your goals. Develop a sense of urgency in your life.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
It is the same in fundraising.
If you are preparing for a major campaign or growing your annual fund, you have to approach each day, each task with a sense of urgency.
There is the often-used example of a duck traveling across water—they appear calm and graceful on the surface and under the surface, they are paddling to get them to their destination.
While there are no shortcuts to developing relationships, you can speed up this process with a sense of urgency. With taking the most direct steps where possible, for example. We recently coached a client that instead of waiting 2 months to see a prospect on the golf course, a lunch in two weeks was more appropriate. When you approach follow-up on cultivation steps with volunteers and staff with urgency, it begins to set an expectation and build momentum.
When you move with urgency and focus, you will also find that some tasks that just aren’t productive need to go by the wayside to make room for your bold new focus. Take advantage of this opportunity to improve how you function, shed less productive efforts and focus on what is most important.
Move with great urgency—and with the right strategy and plan—to deepen relationships and connect with new friends who are capable of transforming your organization's great work!
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.