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Lean Fundraising can work for you!

Lean Fundraising can work for you!

What can make you a more productive fundraising rockstar?

1. Start your day without email.

Look at your to-do list for the day, and accomplish one thing on that list before checking email. This will start you on a roll, and you’ll feel productive for the rest of the day.

2.  Increase your bandwidth.  Can you identify five simple but important tasks that you need to do each week?

Do you design the annual report? Make thank-you calls to donors? Enter checks into the database? Print thank you letters? Update online communities? If so, could you get a volunteer to do this? Chances are, you could. Create a call for interns and volunteers, post it on idealist.org, volunteermatch.org, or with your local university. There will be people happy for the job experience, and best case scenario, you’ll get your tasks completed, and get a chance to mentor someone interested in development.

3.  Categorize your tasks.

Make a chart with four quadrants. In one quadrant, write Urgent and Important. In the next, write Urgent and unimportant. In the third, write not urgent and important, and in the fourth, write Not urgent and Not important.  Put all of your tasks into this chart. So email = urgent and unimportant.  Grantwriting may be not urgent and important. Calling donors to say thank you = urgent and important. And so on.  Once you do this, you’ll be able to focus your energy on the most urgent and important things, and let the unimportant tasks fall away.

4. Identify your fears about a particular fundraising process.

Why are you procrastinating this one task?  Is it calling a potential donor to set up a meeting? Is it getting that banner for your street fair? Whatever it is, what are you most afraid of? Is it rejection? The possibility that you won’t do a good job? Name your fears, claim them, and then you’ll have already experienced the worst, and you can go on to your task.

5.  Nail up your one page development plan in a place where you can see it.

Look up at your plan periodically during the week. How are you achieving one of your goals with each activity? How can you make this plan a living document, updating it with goals and timelines and people responsible?

These are my productivity tips. What are yours?