Solving the Mystery
Have a fundraising challenge you want to crack? Weary of doing the same old, same old yet hoping for different outcomes? Do you want the over-the-top results that come from superior strategy?
Email me with your particular problem and I’ll arrange a quick consultation offering you a practical solution you can implement. I may even use your situation to share with my readers. Names are changed, of course!
I’m stumped on a particular challenge. I want you, my reader, to help me solve it. In fact, I believe you’re the only one who can.
What I enjoy most about what I do is the opportunity to provide clarity and direction to someone who wants it and to see the result of that counsel borne out in the life and work of the person coached.
Such is the basis for this article series, deliberately titled It’s Your Turn. The purpose is to give practical ideas to solve common problems through the example of others who have “been there.” I always learn so much through the thoughtful study of how others have “done it.” Not that our situations are all the same, but they’re not unique, either.
Each week, I take examples of challenges and conundrums offered by readers like you. And I get a lot of takers. That’s a good thing. I receive numerous emails each week from those in both the trenches and leadership of the charitable sector, sharing with me situations that are stunting their ability to deliver their missions—and achieve very worthy goals. Each email receives a quick response thanking them for both sharing and taking the time to share. Time is the only non-renewable resource, so anyone who spends some to share something weighing on their mind gets my attention.
Many of the emails from my readers go into great detail regarding their particular situation. Candor is never an issue. Many run to 1,000 words—or more. In comparison, these articles usually range from 600 to 900 words. (As a point of comparison, this piece tops out at 719.)
I really enjoy reading these. And I do—every single one of them.
My offer is for some of my time in assisting them in removing an obstacle that’s holding them back in their work. Perhaps even provide a nugget that might be the missing link for their particular need.
This is where the mystery comes in.
When a response is sent, each inquirer is asked to go to my web scheduler and select a 15-minute block of time, convenient to them, when I can phone them to discuss the problem they’ve related in their message.
I say 15 minutes because time is valuable. It’s important to focus. I usually spend more than that, however.
The mystery is this.
Of those who usually take much, much more time than 15 minutes to share their vexing situations, only one in five—20 percent—actually take the next step and arrange a time to speak with me. The rest, no matter how serious their situation may sound, I never hear from again.
A follow-up message is sent a week or so later to “ping” inquirers who didn’t take the next step.
With all the proclaimed need and woes of the nonprofit community I try to reconcile these proclamations and protestations with this experience.
Maybe I’m overlooking the obvious, but I just don’t get it.
OK, so you’re ready to respond and offer your ideas. I welcome them. But beware—if you send me an email, I’ll want to speak with you.
Because philanthropy and it’s mirror image, fundraising, is about people—not money.
Oh, and here’s the sweetener:
For the first five who take my challenge, respond with an email and follow through with a conversation, I’ll make a gift to them of an inscribed copy of my book, The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising.
Let me hear from you. Please share your situation and the challenges you face in developing sustainable revenue streams. Email me and I’ll arrange a brief consult providing you with practical guidance. I’ll choose some of these thorny obstacles to share, along with my insights, in upcoming columns.
Success is waiting. Go out and achieve it
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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