Today is Your Day!

by Marcy Heim on December 12, 2018

Today is your DAY!

Is today just a place between stressing over what didn’t get done yesterday and what’s on the list for tomorrow?

Is today what you pass through getting to “someday” when you will “arrive?”  When the time will be right? When your ship will come in? When you can finally get some sleep?

Tolle quote

Are you waiting for the time to “be right?”

To be right to speak that “ask?”

To be right to be true to your values?

To be right to NOT conform to what “most people are doing or saying?”

To be right to ignore the drama of the day?

The past is behind us. The future is ahead of us.

Between the two…this tiny slice of time … the present.

It’s all we have.  It’s all we will ever have.

How old must we be before we really get this? Neither yesterday nor tomorrow is our friend. It’s comforting to want to cherish yesterday and to look towards tomorrow to smile on us. We are all creatures of habit…Habits of thinking, behaving, eating, communicating, talking. We agree it’s insane to expect different results tomorrow by doing the same things we did yesterday.  The best predictor of tomorrow’s results will be based on what we think, say and do….today. Yesterday and tomorrow encourage excuse making, procrastination and being afraid today.

Hear these words from one of my favorite coaches…Dr Seuss.


Dr. Seuss Today is your Day!


Right now, the present moment is the only moment you will ever have.

Today is the day you’ve been looking for.

Today is the day to initiate change in your life.

Today is the day to act with urgency.

Today is the day to be your own hero.

Today is the day to make your dreams come true.

Today is the day to unleash a lifestyle of generosity.

Today is the day to lift up those around you.

We become tomorrow what we are thinking about today!

You create your life…Today!

Go do something big, bold and beautiful with your donors for your mission….. TODAY.

Invest in JOY®



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


How will I get it all done? Get in the zone!

by Marcy Heim on November 29, 2018

Ever feel, “Wowza! How will I get it all done?”

You are making time to be grateful to the people who have supported you in the past. You are reaching out to connect with, and serve, as many people as possible to help them accomplish their year-end giving goals. And you have a slew of events – family and mission – on your list to attend.

Let me on file cabinet

You are only one person and one team. There are only 24 hours in each day. You have plenty of time just too many opportunities in which to invest this time. But, this isn’t just about setting priorities.

It’s about staying in the zone.

Getting into the vortex. Setting your mind to the task at hand with optimism. Embracing the chaos! I love this time of year. I love the energy! People coming at you over text, phone, mail, email, Facebook messenger, oh and in person! (my personal favorite!) Just wanting to share the magic of this most generous time of year!

But then something shifts. “How dare they? Don’t they know how busy I am?” “Stupid cookies!” “Presents! Don’t they have enough?” “Why can’t people get it together to give earlier?”

When we get out of whack we start shoving our family, donors and colleagues into the liability column instead of the blessing side. When we feel too busy to even be courteous we lose the spirit of giving thanks and appreciating our donors, our good work, ourselves.  When we are not, “in the mood” and snarky we can really set ourselves back by trying to continue to move forward.

So how do we get back in the zone?

STOP – Time for a reboot!

First off, what does it mean to be “in the zone?”

happy peopleIt’s when we come from a MINDSET that is eager towards life.  We tackle the next thing with vigor. We celebrate finding the perfect gift. (Wahaha)  We flow with creative giving options to share with our donors. The right questions appear on the tip of our tongues!


Try these tips…some will work better for you than others.

1. DISPEL LIMITING BELIEFS. “People are asked too much.” “They won’t give this year.” “I am not a good asker.” “My cause is not important enough.”  You cannot have something until you believe you can have it! Everything you want is on the other side of your limiting beliefs. Beliefs are not truths. They are your perceptions based upon your experiences and what you have been told.

2. DECIDE MONEY AND WEALTH ARE GOOD. This time of year we can get very self-righteous about money. Much of our society is wrapped up in a mindset that money is bad. We often hear words like “selfish” “entitled” “mean” “didn’t earn it themselves.” Consider portrayals of wealth on TV shows…Gilligan’s Island (remember that?) Dynasty. Undo the thought that poverty is more “holy.”

3. WRITE ASKS TO SET INTENTIONS. Who are the donors with the greatest capacity, interest and most ready to give yet this year. Write out your 3-sentence asks. Call them, “Hi and happy holidays! This is Marcy. We’re so honored and delighted you have chosen to invest in (our impact) in the past.  I want to be sure that I’m available to help you accomplish any giving goals you are considering for us yet this year.” Then be quiet. Let your words settle and let them speak. This is wonderful because it lets you know if they are interested or not. Often it triggers them to give! They just haven’t gotten around to it. Hear them saying, YES! Or, know you can plan to reconnect in 2019. Today I talked with Nancy Gerard…one of my VIP clients.  She said, “I have my year-end 3-sentence asks in front of me and I just keep reaching out, knowing they want to help.” That’s being in the zone.

Yoga pose with Sunset

4. WALK! STRETCH! SING! DANCE! By far when I talk to successful fundraisers, physically moving is the quickest way to get back into the zone. Whatever you do to keep movement in your days and joy in your step, don’t stop now! It’s more important than ever that you are able to maintain your joyful spirit and attitude. When I have a hectic speaking travel schedule on top of my client work, I forget how much I enjoy what I do.  Getting OUTSIDE is key for me. What refreshes you?  Think about it. I find most of my clients KNOW what re-energizes them, but they don’t do it!  A massive problem or challenge will SHRINK if you step away from it and MOVE…even for 5 minutes!

5. WHAT AM I GRATEFUL FOR? Ask this out loud and answer it out loud!

6. SOMETHING GOODS GONNA HAPPEN TO ME! I CREATE MY LIFE!Take back the knowledge and power that you create everything that is in your life and everything that is not.  You have no circumstances – you create them.

At my recent keynote in Seattle I reconnected with my good friend, Penelope Burk.  I love her research.  She documents that after believing in your mission and wanting to make a difference, donors gave because they were asked.  So now focus your energy on asking your donors to consider a gift to you…your mission. During these last few amazingly generous days of the year over a third of the charitable dollars are given. Whenever you slip out of the zone, STOP and get back into it. Remember that every positive step you take makes a difference for those you serve. Remember that every kind word lifts up your family and donors and colleagues. Remember that every smile on your face (even if you have to put it there sometimes) brightens your spirits. Breathe in this amazing work we GET TO DO each year end!

Invest in JOY®



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


Thankful for You!

November 22, 2018

Giving thanks to YOU on Thanksgiving. Grateful for the good YOU unleash in the world! I am thankful for …Unending ways to continue to learn – if your not growing your dying – and I’m a-growing! …My family… and you – the joy you bring to me, and to the world, and the gift I […]

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Scared of Year End?

October 31, 2018

Boo! Happy Halloween! November is here! Whoopee!   November 1st can be really scary if your giving numbers or metrics are not where they “should” be.  Are you reaching for the excuses?  Too many competing drives in the community…not enough staff….need more people in the pipeline…the new tax laws. Let’s stop the blame game and […]

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Thinking about Impact as you Ask this Year End (and always actually)

October 11, 2018

You are expected to raise money.  Your success fuels the work of your organization.  It is very important and honorable work. In just the past 3 weeks I’ve shared my belief in believingwith scores of folks in keynotes and sessions across the Midwest.  This week I’m with AFP-Lubbock, Texas. Wohoo! How you THINK about your […]

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Your opening line has a BIG impact on how your donors react and feel

September 26, 2018

Your opening line has a BIG impact on how your donors react and feel. Notice, I didn’t start with, “How WE open OUR year-end messages…” or “The Artful Asker has a tremendous success record of year end giving results…” Why? It’s all about you. It’s NOT about me.  It’s not about my company. Sure…WE accomplish […]

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“You can’t have fun without Excellence.” – Get BOTH in YOUR Year-End Results

September 12, 2018

Professor Mike Leckrone, 82, is completing his 50th year directing the University of Wisconsin Marching Band. He shared his plans with humor. “My doctors said I needed to slow down… so I’m looking for new doctors.” For most of my undergrad years the band was not open to women. Sensing this was Mike’s last year […]

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Wanna Do EVERYTHING Better?

August 22, 2018

Do you agree there’s magic in Three’s? The research will support you on this.  Going to the store for three things?  You say them to yourself. Ok. Four?  Probably need to write a list. There is something “doable” and memorable about three. This is important to understand in both your major gift development work…and your […]

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Four Tips to Finding Fulfillment in Fundraising!

August 8, 2018

You could feel the excitement as the dots connected at my MORE Major Gifts workshop! Artful relationship management! YES! This class, for the first time, contained a Board President, Director of Development and Development Assistant – all from the same organization!   You can be sure they will meet a massive year-end matching challenge after attending […]

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Your 3rd Quarter Vision. A million dreams is all it’s gonna take!

July 11, 2018

 As much as I am deliberately in the moment, present, drinking in every minute of this glorious summer, it is slipping past too fast.  Do you ever feel this? And somehow summer explodes all sorts of new ideas in my head – different ways to inspire generosity, to serve my clients, to help YOU have more […]

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