Larry New

Urgent Versus Important—Strategic Fundraising

Successful fundraising efforts are those that achieve the victory of the important over the urgent.  The concept of “urgent” versus “important” was first introduced by Stephen Covey.  He introduced us to many worthy ideas and this is one.

Yes, there are times that things which are urgent ARE important.  They’re called “fires.”  Literal or figurative, these things require attention right away.

Today’s fire fighters are more focused on preventing fires than on extinguishing them.  That’s as it should be.

There are also a plethora of things which may be “urgent” but AREN’T important.  Firefighters strive to eliminate as many of these things as possible.

To do that requires a totally different focus.  A different strategy.

By reducing the number of fires, they have much more time to work on preventing them.  It’s an upward spiral.

This is where the analogy works with fundraising.

Strategic fundraising is the victory of the important over the urgent.  The key, according to Covey, is postponing—or ignoring altogether those activities which merely clamor for your attention, but don’t really have much of an impact on the outcomes you’re seeking.

That takes work.  Focused work.  Strategic fundraising is about planning.  It’s about multi-year.  It’s about looking ahead.  If your fundraising is also rushing to raise money for your next need, you’re NOT being strategic.  You’re merely responding to the urgent.

But I don’t have time.  I don’t have the ability.  I don’t have the resources.  Yes, you do.  Yes, you do.

What you must make is a commitment.  A commitment to get something better.  Something more.

Here at The Eight Principles™ we have all the resources you’ll ever need.  Premium training.  Cutting edge tools.  Resources which are unmatched in the industry.

We have live workshops that teach how to think strategically.  To discern what will work and won’t.   You can have one of our outstanding partners bring these to you or you can learn how to teach them yourself—to your staff, your board, your volunteers—over and over.

We have the only expert donor management software system on the market.  The ultimate tracking and learning tool with fundraising training embedded inside the platform.  It’s the simple and the powerful in one package.

Our Four Corners™ Profile shows you where your fundraising really stands.  The Four Corners™ Coach shows you how to get to where you want to be.  Without missteps, without extra mileage.  The straightest, most direct route to sustained success.

Strategic fundraising at it’s very best.

What does it mean?  It means you deliver the world-changing impact you’re yearning for.   We mean what we say.  We believe in the power of the simple, the practical and the joyful.

But—all these resources require the commitment.  The commitment to become more, better, bigger—and ultimately making a greater impact on the world you serve.