This one thing for year-end fundraising success: focus

FOCUS.

During this jolly, holly time of year, staying the course isn’t easy. Distractions lurk around every corner. The siren call of one more good idea or activity tempts.

However, when fundraising success at year-end is your goal, you dare not/must not be pulled this way and that by the events of the day — some of which may actually be worth pursuing. Just not at this point in the calendar.

As I say almost daily to my enthusiastic, energetic grandson I say to you, dear fundraising friend: “Focus. Just focus.”

Now and in every season, I urge you to:

Pace yourself. You’ll be no good to anyone or the organization if you run yourself ragged at year-end. There are many more days and opportunities to come for faith-filled asking and generous giving. Do what you can now and leave the rest for January and after.

Protect your time. We development folk are can-do, pitch-in people. Most of us haven’t seen a hole we didn’t think we could/should fill. That’s what makes us valuable to the organizations we serve. However, December is not the time for one more “here am I, send me.”

Create check-lists by the day and test each item against the following three questions:

Will doing this boost giving to the organization?

Must this be done now or can it wait for a better time?

Can I hand this off to a volunteer or to someone else within the organization?

Honest, hard-nosed answers to questions such as these will trim your to-do list to a human-sized length.

Just say “no,” if/when you can. To be sure, if the CEO comes with an “other duties as assigned” assignment, saying “no” may not be an option. But I’d like to think that if you explain your plan and share your to-do list, “no” will be understand and appreciated, including by your boss.

In these last days of December (actually, every day if truth be told) it’s important that you remain laser focused on what must be done versus all the things that could be done. Doing so is what separates exemplary fundraisers from the rest of the pack.

For year-end fundraising success, focus. Just focus.

Other one things for year-end fundraising success:

This one thing for year-end fundraising success: listen

This one thing for year-end fundraising success: keep calm

This one thing for year-end fundraising success: embrace social

This one thing for year-end fundraising success: tell a good story

This one thing for year-end fundraising success: ask

This one thing for year-end fundraising success: trust

What's your take on this topic?

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