Are you a Prideful Plumber!

by Marcy Heim on July 27, 2022

Recently two major gift fundraisers coaching clients created and held brand new appreciation-engagement events.  Tense conversations surfaced as the unexpected and follow-through mishaps generated frustration. Yet the joy and euphoria that followed these mission celebrations with givers who deeply care erased much of the pre-event pain. There’s just nothing like it.  Have you been there?

Drew & Chloe

My son-in-law, Drew Vanderwert, is here for a first-ever visit with our 2-year-old granddaughter. Drew is a Senior Associate at LandDesign – a Landscape Architecture firm in Denver and shares my “I create my life” managed-mindset approach in work and life. I’m extremely proud of his growth and accomplishments – and he’s a great dad!  

As he manages folks on his team they are required to ask themselves, “Are you a Prideful Plumber?” as they submit their work. Plumbers create a plumbing manifold – a hub for the plumbing system that distributes the water throughout a home. How this manifold performs and looks is different when created by a plumber who takes great pride in her work. I got to thinking about how we can benefit from this approach.

Are you a Prideful Plumber?

1. Your work is clearly labeled in clear terms.

A prideful plumber labels her drawings with understandable words, not jargon, and it is easily read. All the needed labels are present. It generally takes more time to complete this.

Our donors are generally not plumbers or fundraisers. When we take that extra care to explain ways donors can help with clear pictures, stories and examples that demonstrate annual giving, vs endowment and estate giving, QCD’s and more, it serves our donors. It may well take several conversations and some time and patience. Best practice says 3rd grade level and skim-able content.

2. Checkpoints are created throughout the process of creating the manifold.

Prideful plumbers are sure to build in check-points with milestones along the way and to have others review their work.

Some of us see asking someone to read over our work as demonstrating a lack of confidence, or a show of weakness. In fact, this is a show of respect for your donors and your profession. You care enough to first, check your own work and then, get a second pair of eyes to see what you missed.  Putting in some early deadlines can help refocus on when different tasks are due. In the end, embrace that there will always be the “last minute” tasks. Paying attention to timelines and getting others involved says, “I care” and allows for the magic that comes from collaboration.

plumbing manifold

3. Your work leaves a positive long-term impression.

A prideful plumber creates a system that is not only functional but LOOKS like care was taken.  The pipes are the same intentionally-measured distance apart, labeling is present, simple and clear. It gives you the feeling that someone knew what they were doing and took pride in their work. It leaves an impression for those who follow long after the original work is done.

When our total look – from a clean car to a clear letter of agreement – says we take pride in our work, it leaves a strong positive long-term impression. It’s a legacy you can leave that will serve your mission and your donors well.  And, for most of us, it’s often a legacy we get little recognition and appreciation for. That feeling of “Job well done” we must often conjure for ourselves. The perfectionist in many of us will read this in total agreement.  However, I’d also speak for balance with grace for yourself and others in determining when “good enough” is, indeed, good enough.

Bring your best effort every day.

DO take pride in your work!  Know that even when it is not always recognized and appreciated by others, your work leaves a legacy and continues to share your caring, high self-esteem and determination to help your non-profit mission shine!

Invest in JOY®

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