Watch this video to find out how to create your wish list for your organization so that your community can help.
Watch this video to find out how to create your wish list for your organization so that your community can help.
“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday”
Why do we do it! Why do we put things off until another day or time?
Are we lazy?
Are we overworked?
Are we stuck?
Procrastination has a nasty way of rearing its ugly head when you least expect it.
Procrastination is the killer of good intentions, planning and success. #fundraisingMOJO ← Tweet this
Left unchecked, procrastination will become like that absolutely adorable puppy that you bring into your life: it may look cute, and charming and helpful, but in the long run, if you don’t treat it with discipline, it will end up peeing on your floors, eating your furniture and wreaking havoc in your life!
Got a big report to write? Have a donor that you need to contact? What activities do you start doing INSTEAD of what you really need to do? I start looking for the PERFECT coffee shop to write my blog from, or feel the urge to check my email inbox ONCE MORE in case there’s something that I can respond to . . . instead of completing the task that I’m avoiding.
Step 2—Check in with yourself
You’re avoiding this for a reason. Are you unsure how to start? Are you feeling uncomfortable about the task? What are you worried/concerned about? Be honest with yourself. There may be a good reason.
Step 3—Start with a baby step
Tasks that are overwhelming, unknown, or unclear force us into protection mode via procrastination. Gain control of your forward momentum with a SMALL baby step towards your goal. Create the file folder for the report, establish the headers in the report, find the right picture for the appeal that you’re working on or get the correct contact information for the person you need to reach out to. Procrastination—and its first cousin perfectionism—will steal your joy and shake your confidence if left unchecked.
Good Enough For Now. Adopt it as your mantra and don’t look back. Leave procrastination and perfectionism in your rear-view mirror. You’ll raise more money for your mission that matters, and you’ll be happier doing it!
Once you know where you’re going (big hairy goals) you’ve got to be able to break the journey into manageable bite size pieces. I’ve talked about this before on the blog How to reach your goal in 778 baby steps.
Today, I want to help you articulate WHAT you do all day.
What are you responsible for at work? I’m not talking about all the “tasks” that you do. I’m talking about the big bucket items, the stuff that you must own at work in order to be successful and drive revenue for your mission that matters.
Here are some examples of OUTPUTS. Which ones are relevant to your role?
By taking an output based approach to your daily activities, you can get clear on what absolutely has to happen each day, week month. For example:
I work with clients to go back to basics: what files do you own at work? What must happen for you to achieve your big hairy strategic goals?
Once you have the outputs itemized, build a schedule that touches every one of these files every week. If you have no power moves in revenue, money doesn’t come in. If you don’t prioritize Donor Stewardship, it will not get done, and you’ll face a funding gap. If you’re the default marketing person, you’ve got to carve time to communicate, or the gifts will not come in.
This is a very different approach than making a to-do list every day.
Prioritize your workplan based on outputs, and you’ll find time for everything that’s most important #fundraisingmojo ← Tweet this
No one will prioritize your work for you. Being a professional means taking the time to PLAN your week, carefully, and mindfully. Focus on outputs, and you’ll find time for everything that matters.
Fundraising mojo comes from knowing that you’re productive at work. It feels GREAT to get things accomplished, doesn’t it?
Getting things done requires you to own your own work schedule and workplan. You need to know what your ideal schedule looks like, and you need to learn how to stick to it!
Answer these 3 questions:
Look at the answers above. What does your ideal weekly schedule look like?
Nope, you’re not allowed to say, “my work is fluid, and I have to go with the flow.” Not acceptable. You’re a professional, and you are going to hold yourself accountable to your workplan. You need to have a schedule which reflects your priorities and your goals for the year.
Block four 90-minute work sessions per week into your calendar to actually WORK . Do you have any serious distractors in your office life? (i.e. location of your desk is too close to the front door, or you’re responsible for answering phones) How can you mitigate these, or delegate responsibility to be more efficient?
Fundraisers are the glue in our offices. We get caught up in other people’s priorities. Two examples include:
How many standing meetings are in your weekly calendar? How responsive are you to other people’s requests? These two items can kill your best laid productivity plans. If you’re scoring a 6 or higher on the responsiveness scale, remember that your inbox is a holding tank list of everyone else’s “to-do” list.
Takeaway: It’s amazing what people figure out on their own when given 24 hours to think about it.
Planning is the single biggest antidote to chaos. #fundraisingmojo ← Tweet this
The answer is a resounding YES.
If you were a business, you would need to understand what your revenue drivers are, and how much they each cost. As a charity, your donors will ask the very same questions of you, except they’re measuring impact, not dollars.
This post will demonstrate (in 400 words or less!), why and how to measure your organization’s revenue pillar Return on Investment (ROI). You’ll be able to calculate it easily, without having your finance team contorted into pretzel shapes.
The Chavender Leadership Approach includes 3 phases of leadership development from a REVENUE perspective:
Awareness—What are our revenue streams and how can we build on existing strengths?
Engagement—Which opportunities bring in the most revenue from an efficiency and cost analysis basis?
Visionary—We have identified our revenue pillars, and we are tracking year-over-year ROI to demonstrate that we are delivering increasing value to the donors.
And here is where the pretzel contortion begins:
I recently conducted a fundraising program review for one of my clients. It’s a typical request that I often get: the CEO wanted to make sure the targets he was putting out were achievable, based on the skills and pipeline development for his advancement team. My goal was to help him plan for growth by calculating ROI, not just gross fundraising dollars earned.
ROI costs (e.g. staff time get messy when everyone does everyone else’s jobs. Using ROI to track and measure staff performance motivates and informs staff workplans and outputs. Translation: it keeps staff focused on their outputs because these are tied back to their performance reviews. Even if you’re a 0.4 on this file, and a 0.6 on that file (e.g. annual fund, or major gifts, or communications) you’ll know how much time you can allocate to each file . . . because it affects your revenue pillar ROI if you allocate differently.
Take your total funds raised, and divide by all fundraising costs
The key here is consistency: if you counted benefits in your calculations last year, count them for this year as well.
Using the same approach (money raised over costs) look at each revenue stream and determine the direct costs associated with it. For example, if you have a sponsorship person who is 50% allocated to sponsorships, you will put 50% of their salary towards sponsorship costs.
*If you are a small shop, this exercise is incredibly important! Getting buy-in from staff on HOW they are going to spend their valuable time is a key to success. It is also the first step in holding them accountable to their time allocation and workplans for the year.
In addition to the clarity of mapping organization and staff success year-over-year against previous years, you also get a clear picture of which revenue pillars are most profitable.
A visionary leader is ready to lean in, and build targeted strategies that map to those ROIs for each revenue stream. Being informed means better decisions for today’s balance sheet, and for tomorrow’s balance sheet.
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I am old enough to remember the original Rubik’s cube. I use this analogy when I am talking with clients about funding priorities.
The first Rubik’s cube:
You have a Rubik’s cube of competing funding priorities. Which ones are most important? Is the leadership team committed to this list?
The second Rubik’s cube:
You have all the possible funding opportunities. There are so many places you could focus your time as a not-for-profit professional—grants, individual giving, communications, peer to peer, sponsorship etc.
Is your head hurting yet? No wonder! You have a double Rubik’s cube problem.
Regardless of the size of the fundraising shop,
when there is clarity, there is success ← Tweet this
It is impossible to raise money for a moving target.
Where there is clarity, there is success.
There are lots of things I should do: floss twice a day, make a healthy lunch, only check my emails twice a day. You get the picture.
I can get completely overwhelmed by the shoulds—to the point where I’m paralyzed. They can make things feel overwhelmingly complicated.
What does a should sound like? I should:
These are all things you SHOULD do. But do you need to do them right now? Is it more important than raising money, inspiring your staff and furthering your mission? Maybe not right now.
When a “should” comes through your brain, do this. Ask the should “Do you need to be done right now? Is this going to directly affect my ability to do my job today, or can I book time in my schedule next week to undertake this task? Does it warrant blocking time in my calendar?”
Then listen to the answer:
Write out a should list that sits in your top right drawer. Add things as they come into your brain. You’re not ignoring them, you’re just allocating the appropriate amount of energy to the activity. If you don’t need to drop everything and do it now, then don’t.
Jim Collins coined the phrase BHAG (pronounced Bee-hag) in his iconic book Built to Last. Do you know your #1 goal for the year at work? I hope so. If you don’t, stop reading this post and pick up a blank piece of paper to build out your plans for the year.
Ok, so those of you who are still with me, I am glad you have a #1 goal. What’s your first step?
Ummm . . .
To reach your goal, you need to build out your very own staircase to success.
I’ll give you an example from my life to show you what I mean. This year, I set a goal to sell out my mastermind and coaching programs. Great goal. So, what are the baby steps? I need to:
I know that these tasks will move me towards my #1 goal. If I focus my energy here, success will follow.
Don’t let McDonalds fool you: it’s not the supersize goals that matter. It’s the 778 baby steps to the top that are most important.
Everyday there are activities that you do automatically. Whether it’s pulling a report, tracking details in a progress spreadsheet, or submitting expenses, these processes are taking up important real estate in your brain.
Documenting your professional processes is the first step towards being able to hand off this task to someone else—now wouldn’t THAT be great!
Having a documented process for things that are especially gruesome to do (aka submitting expense reports, or pulling a complex report from your database) is twice as important. If you HATE the task AND you can’t remember how to do it when you circle back to it, you’ll NEVER get it done.
Document your activities. Create your own Operations manual for your job. It’s a great way to be more productive, while having others help you at work.
The company Chavender is named after a fish. Not just any fish, but an amazingly adaptable saltwater fish that lives in the Georges Bank, just west of Nova Scotia. The Chavender has survived climate change, overfishing and environmental disasters by adapting to its environment. What a great mascot for the not for profit world: we survive! Learn more about Jenny Mitchell.