Today I am answering more reader questions.
So here we go.
One reader asks, “I am a one man show. It is hard to do everything. I recruit volunteers and board members to help as much as I can, but as you know, there are some things that the ED has to do!”
Another reader echoes, “Too many urgent priorities than I (the one-woman development and fundraising department) can successfully manage.”
You asked how you can do it all in a one-person fundraising shop. I am here to tell you there is no way you can get it all done. There’s really not. Something is going to fall by the wayside and it’s not going to get done and you’re going to beat yourself up over it. Which is ridiculous.
There’s no way you can be equally good at and enjoy doing all of these things:
It’s beyond your capabilities. Because you are one person, and you are being asked to do 5 people’s jobs. There is no way you could actually get everything done that you are asked to do. Really. You have a super job.
So first of all, you need to push back and tell your boss,
“There is no way I can keep up with multiple conflicting priorities. There is just NO WAY this is going to happen. What you are asking for is for me to do every job badly, instead of one or two things well.”
“I feel best when I do these tasks (name the things you do well). You should maximize my time in the things I do well, and pass off the things I don’t do as well to someone else.” Think about managing up.
Second, you need to agitate immediately for the tools that will help you succeed. This means you need to create systems.
What systems you ask?
If just LOOKING at this list is making your head spin, then, like this person, who said, “One person shop and too much to do but not enough money to hire #2″
You need real help, right now. So, here’s how you can get some real help, even if you don’t have the budget to hire someone right now.
Sparked.com. They can help you do graphic design for your annual report, for your twitter background, for your logo, they can also look over job descriptions for you, they can also research other things for you. Here’s my post on Sparked.com and how I used them to make a logo for my nonprofit.
Fancyhands.com. They can do research tasks and phonecalls for you. Such as researching sponsors for your next big event, researching who the cheapest printer is in your town, making phonecalls for you to help your executive director get more speaking engagements, calling around to newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, asking if your nonprofit can announce your event or breaking news or get interviewed, and more. Try them. They are very fast, they are located in America, and they are smart. I loved getting their help.
Get some Fundraising Coaching. For 6 months, get a bit of direction and support as you deal with putting your systems in place so you don’t have to work so hard.
Finally, in order to not be a work-a-holic, you need to get outside, do your 40 hours and go do something else.
If you want to learn more how to empower yourself in your fundraising career, and NOT have to do it all, then check out my new book, Get the Job! Your Fundraising Career Empowerment Guide.