Time Is the Most Valuable Commodity
This holds true for philanthropy as well.
Especially among fundraising professionals, it is important to allocate our time intentionally and appropriately. Here are some tips on doing that well:
Activity doesn’t ensure outcomes
Fundraisers can pursue a myriad of tactics, strategies and action steps but still have lackluster results. The key is quality not quantity, the bottom line not busyness.
Prioritize yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily. Start every day with a short conversation with yourself, asking the question, “What are the most effective steps I can take today?” Be honest! Analyze the tasks at hand, noting those that will result in giving, and assign them top priority.
Identify and establish benchmarks
Set goals for face-to-face cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. Identify and establish SMART benchmarks that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time sensitive. Write it down. Then, hold yourself accountable.
As you do, remember, time spent with donors and prospective donors is a fundraiser’s most valuable investment of time.
Remain positive and professional
Even the most successful fundraisers will experience ups and downs… the huge gift no one saw coming or the rejected grant everyone expected to receive. Remain positive and professional in the high times and low times.
No matter where you are in the process – at the top of the mountain or down in the valley – keep your focus on the priorities. Both exhilaration and discouragement have a way of knocking us off our schedule. Thankfully, we have our clearly identified goals, tasks and benchmarks readily available to keep us focused and on track.
As the well-known author and educator, Stephen Covey, was known to say, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities… not spending time, but in investing it.”
To learn what Hartsook can do for your organization, contact us at
Hartsook’s Growing Philanthropy Tour
Contact [email protected] to schedule a Hartsook consultant to speak at your conference or organization
March 2-4, 2020
National School Foundation Association
National Conference 2020
To subscribe to our monthly newsletter – eHartsook on Philanthropy –
email [email protected].