Fundraising Reflections From the Ski Slopes
Maintain control. I saw a T-shirt at a local shop with a picture of a skier hanging over the edge of a cliff that seemingly dropped off into nothingness. The caption read, "Confidence: That feeling you have before you have fully assessed the situation." Creating a plan (your map), following a schedule and staying on budget can increase your confidence and actually result in getting more done. When everything is a last-minute sprint, fatigue eventually sets in (if not for you, for those working with you). Fundraisers who want to be successful for the long run plan, create schedules that allow for delays and have spending plans to make sure there is enough money and energy to keep doing great fundraising through the end of the year (fiscal and calendar).
Take time to enjoy it. Despite less-than-optimal snow, being in the mountains and surrounded by grandeur was renewing. This old dog knows fundraising is hard work and it doesn't always end up the way you planned. But take a few minutes once in a while to look around you and see the results of your work. Celebrate projects that stay on schedule and budget, raise more money than expected, build stronger donor relationships, or help make your mission possible.
Takeaways: In the next day or two, offer a sincere word of encouragement to a staff member or volunteer who looks to you as a role model. Before the month is over, plan your fundraising strategy for the all-too-critical fourth quarter of 2015 and create the schedules you need to be sure it all gets done. Lastly, after careful thought, can you include a new fundraising effort that will stretch you and provide additional funding for your organization?