A nonprofit from Iowa serving disabled children recently called about partnering with us and our services:
“We’re finally ready. The time is finally right. Our huge media extravaganza is over and I now have some time to work with you and devote to planned giving.”
“How many people were at the extravaganza?” I asked.
“Who attended?” I further asked.
“Major donors, parents, media, local politicians. Everyone!”
“Did you have handouts such as a program, a bulletin, history of the school, ad book?”
“Did you have a story in any of these on how Mrs. Jane Doe, who barely has a dollar to her name, made a $800,000 planned gift? How about…”
“Stop. You’re causing me pain.”
I bet I was.
Opportunities abound. And if you believe the time isn’t “just right” because you have other daily chores to attend to, I can guarantee that you are undoubtedly correct — because it never is. There’s always flaws with the present time; and the future always seems to promise better circumstances. And it is that never-reached future possibility that dooms the overwhelming majority of fundraisers to stay stuck in ordinary ways of raising ordinary gifts.
Think about this: Nothing is more important than not starting, because it ends everything before anything is begun.
THEN there is the next most powerful force — “the awesome power of start.” With any goal, the most important thing to do is START. Somehow. Any way you can. “Ready” or not. Even if you worry you’re moving from shallow to deep end and are not sure about it, you must still START. No one ever learned to swim by staying out of the water.
And no organization or career ever prospered through the power of STOP.