What do the flu and fundraising have in common?

Posted by on Jan 17, 2013 | 0 comments

What do the flu and fundraising have in common?

The letter “f”, for starters. And compound symptoms. And a time commitment that we worry we can’t manage.

And me, I’ve got both – the flu and fundraising. How about you?

It’s difficult to work from a sickbed, no matter what your profession. But fundraising from a sickbed is extremely difficult.

Fundraising is about relationships. Listening. Talking. Reaching out. Positive interactions. Personal contacts. These are not easily managed with a snotty nose and polka dot pajamas.

If you’ve had the flu this year, as I have, you know that it’s not easy to write upbeat, enthusiastic direct mail content to begin with, let alone between Kleenex breaks and catnaps. And it’s definitely not wise to do fundraising projections as NyQuil fogs your brain.

Yet we do, don’t we? Fundraisers are, if nothing else, tenacious. We don’t give up. We can’t. Everything in an organization rides on the success of our efforts, right down (up?) to the CEO’s salary. We carry the responsibility of financing an organization, inside and out. And that burden doesn’t go away just because we have the flu.

So why am I even bothering to write about this? Because the flu comes every year, and fundraising never stops, so we need to be prepared. And not just with Kleenex, cough drops, and decongestants.

A sound development plan with deadlines and campaigns completely outlined and calendared at least 3 months in advance, if not more. Obviously your development plan is an overview of your entire year, but detailed plans should be developed quarterly, and reviewed monthly, with content creation and print/online management teams alerted and ready to go.

If you have these preparations completed, the flu won’t slow your fundraising efforts, and you won’t be attempting to draft creative content from your sick bed.

A little preparation goes a long way. Don’t wait until the flu hits. Do it now, if you haven’t already. Get that plan in place, break it down into quarters, and months. Create your content outline, knowing that it may change due to current events or projects. But altering copy is much easier than starting from scratch.

Bottom line: Be prepared. Get a flu shot. And get better.


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