Competing with love!

by Marcy Heim on February 12, 2020

Happy Valentines DayCompeting with love…..

Many would say competition is bad – generating a winner and a loser. I say when you compete from a place of love and caring, competition kindles that spark to be better than you were before.

Quote You can't look

Watching my beloved football I notice what the athletes do to compete at their very best. Competing to win! The purpose of competition is to bring out YOUR personal best! And, unlike football, as we generate generosity, we can go beyond winning and losing and actually enlarge the pot! Hear win-win!

How often did we lose a giver because the competition did a better job engaging and appreciating them? How often were they disappointed by our lack of vision where “meeting the operations budget” is our loftiest goal?

When we compete with love, we ask, “How can I perform better to create the perfect experience for our givers, our staff, our board and those we serve?” Feeling like we aren’t perfect can make us stops dead in our tracks. But I’d encourage you to instead ask, “What is the gap between now and perfect?” and out of love for your givers and your cause, work to narrow the gap.

Once you identify this perfection gap you are in a position to think clearly about what stays, what goes and what needs your time and attention.

Here’s your game plan for your loving competitive success…..

1. You operate with the highest professional standards.

Those who can sincerely mentally focus on what is best for the donor – not the cause or their bottom line – present themselves as genuinely authentic and trustworthy. As a result, you turn trust, loyalty and integrity into a competitive advantage that is impossible to beat.

2. You have a track record of superior results which creates a superior level of credibility.

This is about doing what you do well and directly connecting the donor to the results. “You have restored this prairie.” (Verses – with your gift we have restored this prairie). You celebrate every new success, large and small, boldly, proudly and confidently. Yes, overall goals can be daunting, but clearly communicating your results – and the impact of donor giving – is an unbeatable combination.

3. You are a well-prepared, highly competent and supremely confident professional who always plays to win.

This is about doing AND being. This is about losing the blame game “If only my board would help,”  “If only we had more staff, etc” and embracing and growing our unique strengths. It’s about shedding the stuff others can do for us and we aren’t good at. It’s about prioritizing reflection, self-improvement, family and being unplugged along with performance metrics.

4. You take great pride in what you do…and you bring everything you’ve got and then some.

Pride – celebrating God’s gift of YOU. Persistence – eager for the opportunity to try again and again. Humility – you GET to do this work and serve. Being mentally tough – knowing you become what you think about. Surrounding yourself with positive messaging and self-talk. Staying clear of the pot-stirrers, Nay Sayers and nightly news.

5. You are far outside your comfort zone. You exist to see how much suffering you can handle..how much inconvenience you can tolerate…and… how much heart, will and character you really have.

Sometimes we wonder, “What’s next?!” A series of unforeseen complications, we get the never-ending bug, kids are sick, financial hits, leadership changes, cat dies, cancer, blizzard. It is just all too much. Yet we take one step, and then another step – believing we will grow to be bigger than our challenges – and indeed we will.

No competition. No progress.

When you compete with love, you stir yourself up! You develop a powerful spirit from within. Raising more major gifts is not about the external financial environment. It’s about your internal mental environment.

Don’t be afraid. I’m sending you the peace of knowing you are loved, you are valued and you are appreciated. Each day you choose to step out into the world and share your unique gifts, you connect others to experiencing the joy of generosity.

SHINE ON!

Marcy Heim is a trusted authority in the development profession and helps organizations and educational institutions boost their major gift programs through artful, long-term relationship building that dramatically increases fundraising success while promoting increased staff job satisfaction. To receive a free chapter from Marcy’s book, Empower Your Board to Serve as Effective Development Ambassadors, click here.

Questions:  Contact KK Konicek at KK@MarcyHeim.com

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Create your own dog park to get more done!

by Marcy Heim on January 22, 2020

Did you ever wonder if there was a way you could feel structured and free at the same time?

At all my presentations, I take a survey asking you to share your greatest challenge. ‘Managing time/overwhelm’ is always in the top three…. and often the top two – right up there with needing to raise More Major Gifts!

For most of us, every day is a frantic effort to get in one more thing, continuously reacting to email, posts, and text messages, and running between meetings and visits.  Many of us resent having each moment of our day calendared out – day after day after day. There’s no time for creating. No time to artfully compose letters, emails and texts so important after our personal visits. No time to invest in a new project plan – perhaps a new segmented mini-campaign. No time to create a system that would give us better consistency and even SAVE time. No time to just stare into space. No time to chat with our colleagues – just be social. No time to catch our kids’ games or shows without thinking about work.

No time.

If only we could just have an open day – we’d organize that sock drawer, clean our electronic files or plan ahead on the next trip. Yet when we DO get an open day – and we do on occasion, we don’t seem to get much done at all. It’s like we just want to putz. Rest. Stop.

Here are four ways for you to THINK about your time differently.

dog at park

1. Creating Dog Parks in your calendar.

Research tells us we need STRUCTURE to be FREE. What? Think about a dog in a dog park. Without the fence, the boundary, Fido is constrained on a tight leash. The fence boundaries provide the freedom to run!  Children will play harder and happier within a fenced playground.  At the fireworks, we define our ‘space’ with our lawn chairs and blankets.

Boundaries

And like Fido knows the park is ‘run time’ we can look forward to focusing on a specific action within boundaries. Free from distractions of other tasks and interruptions.  Remember, every time you look at your phone or email, you shift from YOUR priority to reacting to someone else’s priority.

Take your week.  Try blocking off 90 minutes twice each week for donor follow up tasks, 30 minutes twice each day to process email, 60-90 minutes a day to do your highlight (see #3) and 15 minutes just before lunch to make thank-you calls?  I block writing, coaching and highlight time daily, weekly or monthly. I also block up to three hours (2-90-minute segments) for big personal or professional projects that are ongoing periodically. Understand you may not get it all done within these times, but as you do this more, you better focus within these blocks and you get better at stopping distractions within these blocks. And – you will find you enjoy the work more because you are intentionally doing what YOU have decided is important and meaningful to your success.

2. Switch from the “to do” lists to a note pad and calendar. 

I read an interesting bit of research from the tech world. Highly successful folks are carrying a small notebook (and yes, a writing tool like a pen) for meeting notes, capturing random ideas and remembering tasks.  It’s more about journaling.  Many of us turn this into a written or electronic list of “to do’s”.  I call mine ‘Get to dos” to think about doing my tasks as opportunities, not a drudgery.  But I’m going toward cutting this step out and instead moving from my ‘journal’ to choosing when on my calendar I will do this and planning the time within the boundaries of everything else I have going. I find it helps me make better commitments to when I can get work done.  Sure…it may only be a ½ hour project, but it’s ½ hour I won’t have until next Wednesday.  Does this make sense? Play around with it and let me know

Make time3. Create a Highlight for each day – and do it!

Once again, let me recommend the book, Make Time. While I am not executing all the advice perfectly, I have adopted the idea of a daily “Highlight” and it’s a terrific tool to focus on what you really intend to do in your day.  Make time to read it!

4. Be eager with your time, not anxious or burdened.Eager and Happy

How do you FEEL as you begin your day? There was a time I found I looked at another full day of tasks and was feeling almost burdened, “Today I have to work on that speaking powerpoint.” Or “Today I have 3 coaching calls.” Sincerely…I LOVE speaking and coaching, so what was this about? I honestly ask myself, “If I could do anything I wanted, what else would I do right now?” I have worked all my life to do EXACTLY what I am doing now. I love to speak and work with my clients, walk and sing. So I remind myself of this with a calendar entry at 5 am every Monday. “Eager and happy to be here attitude” It reminds me I choose how to begin every day and I intentionally remind myself, “I love what I get to do!”

And through this all, remember that when you focus on perfection, you’re not doing the work to becoming good at moving forward from a mistake. You’ll have hiccups as you try new things. There are many things you cannot control. How you respond to those things ultimately determines whether or not you succeed. Embracing imperfection allows you to accept more risk, and in the process, grow. Be gentle with yourself and keep going.  Know I am always here, plugging for you, and filled with gratitude for the gift you are in composing our generous world!

Marcy Heim is a trusted authority in the development profession and helps organizations and educational institutions boost their major gift programs through artful, long-term relationship building that dramatically increases fundraising success while promoting increased staff job satisfaction. To receive a free chapter from Marcy’s book, Empower Your Board to Serve as Effective Development Ambassadors, click here.

Questions:  Contact KK Konicek at KK@MarcyHeim.com

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Patiently persist to your 2020!

January 8, 2020

Patient Persistence. This isn’t about knocking on one door until the dang thing opens. It’s about knocking on many doors. It’s about embracing plan B…or C..or…well there are 26 letters in the alphabet so really we get lots of chances.  It’s about trying again. It’s about patiently persisting with your key, top prospective major donors….without […]

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Wishing you Joy!

December 25, 2019

  Marcy Heim is a trusted authority in the development profession and helps organizations and educational institutions boost their major gift programs through artful, long-term relationship building that dramatically increases fundraising success while promoting increased staff job satisfaction. To receive a free chapter from Marcy’s book, Empower Your Board to Serve as Effective Development Ambassadors, click here. Questions: […]

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Are you ready for PERFECT Vision?

December 11, 2019

YOU are wished JOY! December is for DOING!  And, DOING.  And, DOING!!!! And that’s ok. Yikes have I been editing year-end letters.  Remember – DIRECT LINE FROM DONATING TO DOING FOR DONORS!  Your gift to them is their joy in doing your mission – make them feel it, smell it, taste it and rejoice in […]

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Don’t we-we on your Donors!

November 27, 2019

You really CAN make this shift!  Really! You all are working REALLY hard. You give your heart, energy and smarts to fix, enhance, inspire, lift up, prevent, support, and more… to make the world better. I appreciate you and what you do. Maya Angelou said it best, “You want to compose a good world. It’s […]

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Year end Stress – GONE

November 13, 2019

Your Stress-Free, Year-End Success Questions to Ask OVERWHELMED! It’s like an epidemic this time of year. “How are you?” “Overwhelmed.” Or, struggling, or crazy-busy, or don’t know how I will get it all done, or exhausted, or stressed or well, ok, but there is just so much. Never be overwhelmed again.  HOW?  1. STOP SAYING […]

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The Accounting Department – Friend or Foe to Giving?

October 9, 2019

Do you sometimes feel like the accounting folks are just trying to be difficult? Here are a few examples about working with accounting I heard during my latest round of presentations. Be sure to hit ‘reply’ and share your accounting stories or questions. SIX Accounting Stories – Sound familiar to you? Your volunteer speaker goes […]

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Shifting the conversation to money

September 25, 2019

My Y families can SING!!!  Energy! Caring! And giving everyone a role in the Annual Y Campaign!  YES! It was a great week with the YMCA of the Triangle in Raleigh and the YMCA in Wichita!  Click on the image for video! Indeed over 350 Board and lead staff can now ASK for Anything Artfully!  […]

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Are YOU worth it?

September 11, 2019

What is your value? What do you bring to your work? What to you contribute to your professional and personal relationships? What difference do you make? If you are like many non-profit professionals your value is HIGH! You deepen and enrich all of your relationships! The work you do literally transform lives daily – in […]

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