Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast
There is a “predictable” randomness to moving a fundraising project from soup to nuts. Randomness… because issues pop up unexpectedly. Predictable… because they’re the same recurring issues. It’s just human nature. Here are three tips to reducing predictable randomness, which can be applied to all-things-project-management:
Measure twice, cut once.
Don’t breeze by a cryptic email if it doesn’t make sense. Make sure you ask, “What am I missing?” Asking for clarity is not a sign of weakness: it’s smart and the right thing to do. Sometimes, the person giving the directions isn’t entirely sure, and your question may highlight a flaw in the process and underscore a decision that needs to be made before moving forward.
The 800-pound gorilla must weigh in.
You know the saying: “Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit?” “Anywhere it wants.” These are individuals who have strong opinions which must be baked in to the project. You may dread asking because you don’t want to hear the answer. But don’t put it off and don’t avoid it. Their opinions matter.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
It’s counterintuitive, but if you’re in a hurry and have a tight timeline, slow down. If you appear to have a window of disposable time on a project, hurry up. It comes more naturally to ebb and flow based on the tyranny of the urgent, but time will be lost in the long run. Slow down and hurry up – but intentionally, not instinctively.
Whether you’re just planning an event, developing an eight-page case statement or overseeing a $10-million campaign, here’s the take-away: Ask questions (early and often); slow down when you feel pressured; and hurry up when you have time to spare.
Next stops on the road to achieving Hartsook’s mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:
February 1, 2019
IGNITE 2019: Conference
February 4-6, 2019
The Great Fundraising Masterclass
February 7-8, 2019
LSE Annual Behavioural Public Policy Lecture
February 4-6, 2019
Think Double! Fundraising Masterclass
Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle
Keep up to date on the latest fundraising trends with the Kindle ASR Media collection:
- Reality Fundraising – Ideas, insights and lessons learned through hundreds of best practices from nonprofit professionals nationwide by Bob Hartsook
- Fundraising Leadership – The definitive source for empowering board members to become pro-active fundraising leaders by Karin L. Cox
- Getting Your Ducks in a Row – A tool box of strategies for effective campaign fundraising by Bob Hartsook
- Million Dollar Gifts – Real-life stories of million-dollar gifts that will amaze and inspire your fundraising by Bob Hartsook
- Closing that Gift – “29 secrets” to closing a gift and avoiding the top 10 solicitation mistakes by Bob Hartsook
- Performance-Driven Fundraising – Handy, yet entertaining reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers by Matthew J. Beem
- Nobody Wants to Give Money Away! – Stories, humor and more than two decades of fundraising experience in which Bob explores the nine fundraising truths essential to success by Bob Hartsook
- On The Money! – An enlightening collection of success stories and lessons learned from nonprofit fundraising campaigns nationwide by Bob Hartsook
- $231 Billion Raised and Counting – by Bob Hartsook, Matthew J. Beem, Karin Cox and over a dozen Hartsook consultants and clients. Hartsook shares stories and “Strategies for Success” that will educate and inspire
In Nobody Wants to Give Money Away! (ASR Media), Hartsook Chair Bob Hartsook, details his nine principles for raising major gifts, starting with, “Nobody wants to give away money.” Learn the principles that helped him raise billions of dollars. Go here for a special price of $10 (plus shipping and handling).
On the Web
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Visit the Hartsook website for:
– Educational opportunities
– Books/reference articles
– Conference/workshop speakers
Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, [email protected]. If you’d like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact [email protected].