Updated: Apr 15
My 25-year-old daughter decided it was time she changed jobs.
She was looking for the next step in her career in what is usually perceived as a male-dominated field.
Within a few days, she received a text (yup, that’s how it’s done now) from someone she had met along the way inviting her to interview for a more advanced position than the one she had.
BOOM- She has a new job.
Ask most who know me when I intend to do something, and they’ll agree: I cannot be stopped.
The power of intention has worked for me many times in my personal and professional worlds.
It always seems to be coupled with the notion of Invention.
Think about it this way…An athlete decides to win the race, and then they train, visualize, and “invent” their plan of getting to the finish line first.
As for me…I would like to tell you that I discovered I was not that good at math so I invented Excel. I am afraid that’s just not true.
I could regale you with stories of my intention to be accepted into the borough-wide band in Junior High School and inventing a way to practice to get used to the echo in the audition space (the answer is: practice in the bathroom).
Instead, let me use current examples of how this comes to life and how to bring this to your Fundraising departments.
Intention to raise more money
I am sure that we all share this intention; however, what do we do to make this happen?
In other words, what do we need to invent?
I also noticed that my managers weren’t sharing any “invention” that would help me to run the race in a way that would assure that I would arrive at the finish line in first place.
Strategy is the starting line.
When running toward your goal, strategy is critical.
Strategy is the action plan that takes you to the starting line…It is the BIG picture. What you want to do.
And, by the way---we want to hit our goal is NOT a strategy…It’s a hope.
Also, a strategy without a tactical plan is just a document to make all feel bad when the goal is not reached.
The tactics will convert your intention to invention.
Tactics are the individual steps and actions that will get you there.
So let’s lay this out clearly with an example.
To increase our event sponsorships by engaging corporations.
Train our staff on how best to reach out to and engage corporations
Find the correct contacts at companies
Learn how to ask the right questions to establish what they consider important
Research what CSR they have engaged in previously
Know the best times to make calls to Corporations and Businesses (yes, there really are best times!)
Research the companies based in your area
Research what companies have supported a mission related to your work in the past
-Roleplay with your team on:
How to tell your story with their goals in mind
What questions should be asked?
Best practices for follow up
Create a Corporate-friendly presentation
Options for both inward and outward-facing programs
Ways to engage their employees
- For $$
Divide leads (if it’s not just you doing the legwork)
Do a whole bunch of outreach through all channels (emails and calls)
Add Fun ---This may be the hardest invention.
One idea I have had great success with---A phone Jam!
A four-hour calling session for all fundraisers.
Everyone is ready with a prospect list- don’t waste time researching. Do it in advance.
Your leadership serves beverages and snacks (and smiles and cheery words)
Measure activity (remember activity leads to new donors) and offer silly fun prizes
Every hour do something physical to invigorate your team. Group dance??
Have a re-cap meeting for all to share their experience and learn from each other
Monitor how many of these leads progress
And when this initial outreach is complete-
Measure success, share what is learned with everyone on your team, and celebrate.
Do this in a safe space that will encourage a heightened sense of Intention and a delighting sense of Invention.
Want to lead your intention to invention---Give Team Kat & Mouse a call-We are consultants to nonprofits committed to increasing your donor dollars through
Tactic, Training, and Tools.
WHAT’S THE PICTURE?
My Grandfather, along with his friend invented the automatic transmission! This is from their original patent application in 1933.