I was in Florida this past weekend, speaking at the Friends of Florida State Parks, and I got to enjoy a little time on the beach. I LOVE the beach and I could sit and watch the waves for hours.
I was thinking about how much fun it would be if a magic lamp washed up with a genie inside to grant me 3 wishes for the nonprofit world this year. There are so many things I’d want for you, but here’s what’s at the top of my list:
- Ditch any stinkin’ thinkin’ you might have. Way too many people suffer from a negative mindset when it comes to money and fundraising. They hang on to thoughts like “we can’t raise big money because of the economy” or “we’re just a small nonprofit and no one will give us a big gift.” That kind of thinking holds you back and gives you an excuse to not have to stretch yourself and work toward bigger goals. When you can think BIG, you can accomplish BIG things! And with so many people out there depending on you, thinking BIG would be a good thing.
- Learn to tell your story in a heart-grabbing way. How many words does it take for you to say what your organization does? What if you left out all the jargon, the acronyms, and the industry slang and found a way to describe your organization’s work in language that a 6-year old child could understand? I think it would be a tremendous exercise for you and I think you’d find that it would attract more donors and prospects. Being able to tell your story simply is a key skill for any professional fundraiser!
- Focus on making friends, not getting gifts. Life in your world would change DRAMATICALLY if you focused on developing friendships instead of just getting money in the door. Friends will be there for the long haul and will support your dreams. They care about your success, and they’re there for you when things aren’t going so well. People who give you money aren’t necessarily friends and they won’t necessarily give again. See the difference?
You know what? You don’t need a genie to make these happen. You have the power yourself to shift your mindset, tell your story, and make friends to make 2013 YOUR year!