One Year and Nine

I once had a boss who told me the story about a former direct report who came into his office one day to ask for a raise. The person’s logic was that she had gained ten years of experience in her position and now, as a result, was more seasoned and thereby more valuable to the organization.

My boss denied her request. Dumbfounded, his direct report asked, “Why?” She reiterated her position that ten years in her post made her far more valuable than a newbie he could hire off the street without prior relevant experience.

My boss, being the sage, yet pointed individual he was, responded yes, she did have ten years of service to the organization, and that, in and of itself, was in some sense, an accomplishment. He took issue with her claim of 10 years of experience, however. His response? “You have one year of experience repeated nine times.” Ouch!

To get your fundraising program to grow, you can’t rely on doing the same things in the same way, year in and year out—no matter how productive you may believe they are. That’s why canned, mechanical fundraising “systems” or “recipes” eventually plateau and decline over time while still requiring the same amount of effort.

Principle 8 of The Eight Principles™ is Invest, Integrate & Evaluate™. Unique fundraising ideas that deliver require continual evaluation.

For a fundraising program to not only sustain itself at a particular level, but to scale, the investments it makes in the program must truly be investments, returning more in funds than they cost. Otherwise, they are merely expenses.

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