Once when I was visiting my physician he asked me the question, “Do you want to be healthy?” My first reaction was what a strange question from a doctor.
Actually, it wasn’t. You see, being healthy begins with really wanting to be. Genuinely desiring a healthier state is the first—and essential—step in becoming so.
I continually hear from the leaders of nonprofits on their desire to become more productive, vibrant organizations raising more money and making real change in the community.
When I show them the path, I often get hesitation—or even resistance. Becoming better than you are always requires change—sometimes, significant change. Change means risk. Risk can induce fear.
It’s at this point that sheep are separated from goats and we learn who the doers are and who are merely the wishers.
Principle 2 of The Eight Principles™ is Begin at the Beginning™. You begin your quest for philanthropic resources by first knowing who you are and then communicating you identity in a way your potential investors will understand. It’s that last phrase that trips up many. Getting outside of our own heads isn’t easy.
Once you’ve gotten the communication piece under your belt, then Principle 8, Invest, Integrate, & Evaluate™ becomes critical. This is where change happens.
You must invest in your program—both time and money. You must integrate the various pieces of your fundraising efforts so as to be seamless to those who will invest. Finally, you must ruthlessly evaluate what you’re doing with a firm focus on the ends—not the means.
The unique fundraising idea? Decide to raise more money and really mean it. You’ll know you’re serious when it feels just a little risky.