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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rush Hour: Is Time a Fundraiser's Greatest Luxury?

You've just start a new job as a development director for a nonprofit organization. How much money can you raise by Friday?

Now you've been on the job for two months. Have you raised enough money to cover your salary?

Oh, and the board members are asking--we gave you that list of cold calls to make. Why haven't we seen a major gift yet?

In a tough economy, there is a lot of pressure to "show me the money." Yet in the traditional fundraising model, we talk about the development cycle:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why Short Cuts Ruin Results


I had the honor of meeting Dan Coughlin at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Arizona Statewide Conference in 2008 in Tucson. We have been using some of Dan's concepts with nonprofit organizations, and subscribe to his newsletter to see what new gems he can share. Here's an excerpt from his latest article which we think applies to many in the nonprofit field, reprinted with permission. The full article is available at http://thecoughlincompany.com/cc_vol10_7.html (Thanks, Dan!-Alice)

Why Shortcuts Ruin Results by Dan Coughlin

People are often categorized into groups by things like their gender, race, height, year of birth, and nationality. Then all sorts of assumptions are made about each person based on their combination of these labels.
Those labels mean nothing to me. They don’t tell me anything about the individual because the individual had no choice over any of them when he or she was born. Each person was just given those labels.

What’s vastly more interesting to me is whether the person is a short-term thinker or a long-term thinker. Each person gets to choose which of these categories he or she is going to operate within.

A short-term thinker focuses on doing whatever he or she can do to get a good short-term result. The short-term thinker idolizes shortcuts. Shortcuts are fast ways to get really good results, but that are not capable of producing good results consistently over the long term.

A long-term thinker focuses on doing things that will generate good short-term results on such a consistent basis that the long-term results are good as well. The long-term thinker realizes you can’t get poor results all of the time in the short term and expect to get good results over the long term. The long-term thinker abhors shortcuts because he or she knows they breed habits that can’t sustain success.

This is such a subtle difference between short-term and long-term thinkers that it may seem insignificant. However, the ramifications over time are undeniably dramatic in every area of life.

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