Unlucky is as Unlucky Does…Not

Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 | 0 comments

It’s Friday the 13th – a rumored day of double unluckiness.  Double unlucky because a) the number 13 carries bad luck with it, and b) Friday is the unluckiest day of the week (or so it is said).

Fundraisers can’t afford to be unlucky, let alone double unlucky! We need every bit of luck we can get, but even with a big glob of luck factored in, successful fundraising is based on research, preparation and follow through, not luck (although a little luck never hurts!).

The “lucky”  or successful fundraiser is typically a tenacious, friendly, hardworking person.

The less successful fundraiser may be considered unlucky, but it’s more likely there is an absence of process, communication, and follow through.

A critical component of successful fundraising is regular, ongoing efforts to identify, cultivate and maintain donor relationships. The ability to do this has nothing to do with luck, but has everything to do with effort.

Below are four tips that will add order to your daily effort:

  • Organize your existing data
    • If you have lists in multiple formats and files, it’s likely that you are spending too much time searching for information that could be much more easily accessed if it was organized in one place. One of my clients has recently completed intensive research on database management systems and selected DonorSnap. There are many good systems available, find one and use it!
  • Create a to-do list
    • Fundraising incorporates many small tasks; working from a list will facilitate your memory as well as your efficiency. I use Google Tasks (synched with GeeTasksPro on my iPhone), but there are many options for you to choose from.
  • Prioritize….everything
    • Begin with your desk
      • Arrange items according to their frequency of use,
    • Continue to your computer and smart phone
      • Clean off your desktops
      • Organize your folders and files
      • Update critical funding dates to your calendar (grants, events, follow up calls, donor meetings, regular outreach, updates to clients, board, management)
      • Incorporate prioritization levels in your to-do list (if your calendar doesn’t have a prioritization function, you can simply add a number in front of each task to show priority: “2 Draft May12 DM to Housefile”, “4” Catch up on Filing)
      • Synch programs such as Google Docs, etc. from computer to phone for ease of access when not at your desk
    • Last but NOT least, spend 1/2 day (at least) working on your database
      • Clean up your data
      • Prioritize your outreach, donor by donor
      • Synch your database calendar with your (Google, Outlook, etc) calendar

Once you’ve taken the time to organize and prioritize, your luck (success) just might improve!

It’s much easier to be in the right place at the right time with the right message when your data and efforts are organized!

Maybe the phrase should actually be, unlucky is as unlucky doesn’t.

Here’s wishing you a double dose of GOOD luck! Double luck because a) you’re getting organized, and b) you’re prioritizing!

Lucky is as lucky does!



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