One of the hardest things we have to do sometimes is to admit we’re stuck. (Hey, it happens to ALL of us from time to time.)
Being stuck means you can’t see possibilities anymore. You’re confused. You’re frustrated. And you need someone to help you get out of it.
It’s kind of like being in quicksand – struggle and you’ll go deeper. You need someone to throw you a lifeline and pull you out.
Nobody wakes up in the morning and decides to be stuck. It’s a slippery slope and it happens so gradually that you don’t notice it until you feel the confusion and frustration.
Here are three things you’ll either say or think that indicate your fundraising is stuck:
1. “We tried that.” These are probably the three most deadly words in all of fundraising. There’s a tiredness in these words, and often people have already given up when they say them. I know that what really happened is they did something without thinking it all the way through and without putting full effort into it, and got lackluster results. AND, they aren’t willing to own their part in the disappointment.
2. “I don’t have time.” Time is our most precious resource. Spend it wisely and you’ll get amazing results. Spend it reacting to what other people want, and you’ll never get around to doing the things you really should be doing. We all get 24 hours every day to do what we need to do. Getting things done is a matter of priorities and focus. “I don’t have time” is what people say when they don’t want to do something.
3. “I don’t know any rich people.” There’s a common dream that one of your donors will win the lottery and give you so much money that you won’t need to fundraise any more. It’s unrealistic. And ridiculous. You already know rich people – they’re rich in money and relationships and love and lots of other things that matter. Unless you get out from behind your computer and go spend some time with them, you’ll never develop the relationship you need in order for them to want to support your nonprofit. Ms. Betty Bigbucks is not going to magically show up in your office one day with a big, fat check for you.
If you’ve believed any of these three at some point, it’s okay. Like I said, we’ve all been stuck.
But like Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, do better.”
So, here’s what you need to know: These are really just excuses that you’ve used to let yourself off the hook. You are a smart, committed person, and you are capable of so much more. You don’t need excuses. What you need is some inspiration.
Spend some time getting reconnected to the mission of your nonprofit and why it matters to you. Then put a plan together for the next 60 days, and go work the plan.
You can have excuses or you can have results. What’s it going to be?