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 JOY and SUCCESS in your life and work.  I can hardly sleep!

bearded lady

Enter “The Greatest Showman.”  Make time to watch this musical.

 

It’s about P.T. Barnum and his zest for life, love and creating a circus.

 

He boldly allows the bearded lady and so many others a place where they can own who they are and be part of a family.

For me, it is summed up in these lyrics (that I am singing constantly)

Every night I lie in bed,
The brightest colors fill my head,
A million dreams are keeping me awake.
I think of what the world could be,
A vision of the one I see,
A million dreams is all its gonna take.
A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make!

Ok, now for a quick story …..

Yesterday, I was on a coaching call with an ED who is in urgent need of refocusing, and who desperately needs to have stronger major gift activity in the 3rd quarter and for the rest of the year.

Everyone seems busy, but the dollars just aren’t coming in and she is finally willing to invest in me for board and staff training followed by some continued coaching and accountability.

What’s her problem?

Might YOU be in the same spot? CHECK ALL THAT APPLY

1. You did not have a precise set of VISIT and ACTION goals when the year began.

2. If you did, you were not 100% committed to achieving them from the start.

3. You did not develop relationship action plans and hold yourself accountable to those actions.

4. You allowed yourself to lose focus and wasted a lot of time, talent and resources tuning into the daily drama, reading email, posting on Facebook and organizing your sock drawer.

5. You blamed your spouse, boss, ED, Dean, even your DONORS (Why are they on vacation when I want to see them?) for your inaction. The blame game takes a lot of your time.

6. You didn’t have a coach, accountability buddy or colleague to help you take control of your actions week-to-week.

It deeply concerns me when people think that they can really improve their 3rd quarter performance and finish the year strong by engaging in the same behavior, the same habits…the same strategies…the same beliefs…and the same work ethic that got them into this situation in the first place. We just go along…conforming to the wrong group.

Back to the ED…I told her…

“The things you need to be doing in the 3rd quarter, are the exact same things you should have been doing all year long.”

What exactly are those things that you NEED to be doing?

  • Focus on a small number of your highest potential major givers. Write 25 ‘Marcy 3-sentence asks’ NOW for completion by year-end.
  • Enforce non-negotiable deadlines for meeting with your top donors. It is your 1st priority EVERY DAY. Express appreciation, gather advice, get clarity on giving interests.
  • Treat everyone like a major donor. Add more value by being totally tuned into them and not YOU, your opinions or politics. Be sincere in helping them find their joy in giving! Focus on where you share the values and mission of your organization.  Be the person that’s FUN and positive to be with.
  • Take massive action and create a powerful sense of urgency. This includes planning now for Giving Tuesday and your year-end appeals.
  • Demonstrate discipline and be accountable for results. “I CREATE MY LIFE!
  • Embrace total optimism – Choose to be positive, kind and lift up others. Persevere no one ever made a differencethrough obstacles and blow through the dramas of the day.
  • Measure visits, plan next steps, write and practice my 3-sentence asks, involve your volunteer partners and commit to hitting those metrics…Every. Day.
  • Jump into my MORE Major Gifts course Aug 2-3 in Madison or be part of my Dream, Act, Achieve coaching group.  Get the support you need. It’s all on my website.

and most of all remember… ‘A million dreams is all its gonna take. A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make!’

Invested in your success!

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 KK@MarcyHeim.com

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Problems & Challenges: Bring Em On!!

by Marcy Heim on June 27, 2018

“The secret to success is not to try to avoid or get rid of or shrink from your problems; the secret is to grow yourself so that you are bigger than any problem.” —T. Harv Eker

Some days it seems everything is a challenge. Major gift calls cancel, the data base fails, you get bad news, it’s hot and you struggle. Other days it seems that no matter what you are faced with you somehow effortlessly plow right through. The size of the problem is not the issue; it is the size of YOU!

In a recent poll at a conference these challenges emerged for those in our profession.

  • 30% – Need more major gifts
  • 24% – Overwhelmed
  • 18% – Lack Clarity
  • 15% – Lack board support
  • 13% – Staffing issues

Being overwhelmed is high on the list!  Here are 3 problems that plague us in major gift development work and how to be bigger than they are.

1. Overwhelm and Gratitude. Your email box is forever full; there are always more prospective givers to see, family needs, and on and on.I like to look at overwhelm as nothing more than proof I am expanding! If I didn’t have more and more opportunities in all aspects of my life, I wouldn’t be overwhelmed! The key to busting this ‘problem’? GRATITUDE! Stop. Look at everything youwomen sunset gratefulhave to deal with — your development work, event, deadline, kids, volunteer work — and shout out loud, “Thank you for all of this in my life! I am grateful for this work, my family, my service. I am gratified I have the talent, resources and abilities to be given these many things to do!” Now just start one. You feel better, right?

 

2.Technology Mishaps  Oh, sure, TODAY your internet service acts up. Cell phone reception not good right when you need to make that call. Why is my Uber app not allowing me to ask for a ride?

Technology allows us to do some amazing things and serve so many more people. Again, the problem is not BIG; it is you who are small. To bust technology mishaps remind yourself how many more prospective givers and donors you can reach because we have today’s technology and social media; how many more options we have to share our impact — the joy and power of philanthropy! We can respond in ways our donors prefer. Also remember that pen, paper, handwritten note and a stamp together is still a powerful tool. A phone call with a quick, “thank you” is always an option. And praise yourself for all the knowledge you have acquired about technology — at whatever pace you have acquired it.

3. Unexpected Changes and Choosing Optimism  What? ________ (major donor name inserted here) called and is sick and can’t make our appointment? The beltline is backed-up from an accident? The flight is delayed!? The package didn’t arrive! It is always our choice. Stuff will continue to happen but it is ALWAYS our choice how we react to it. Anger, laughter, intense alternate probing. Decide right now if you want to ADD to the wreckage or ADD to the OPTIMISM. Surround yourself with others who choose to be optimistic. Don’t spread the crap by telling the story of your change over and over. How many of you spilled your coffee in the morning at home and have told 8 people about it by 10 a.m.? Stop that!

“Something good is going to happen to me!” Say this the second you are faced with an unpleasant change. You will like what happens!

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 KK@MarcyHeim.com

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A Bizarre Tale from South Africa

June 6, 2018

Ever had a volunteer’s passion go to unhelpful extremes? Let me share a tale from my trip to South Africa. We were told to bring candy, stickers and soccer balls, if we wished, for the fifty or so 1st to 8thgraders at a small black school near our safari camp.  So with candy, stickers and […]

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What does your future hold?

May 23, 2018

My son, RJ, just graduated from the UW Madison! Yep…we are bursting with pride and spent a wonderful 4 days celebrating. In a few short weeks he’ll be off to Boulder, Colorado and a new job with Major League Baseball Advanced Media creating some sort of mobile app. A sweet job, indeed. WoHOO! At 23, […]

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Part IV – If only my Board would help show our appreciation

May 9, 2018

It was a whirlwind four-conference speaking tour at the AFP International Conference, NAYDO, AFP Genesee Valley and LeadingAge Iowa. Even the 5:45 am flights were AWESOME!  (well that may be a bit of a stretch). I must share the most amazing surprise at the AFP Genesee Valley Conference–  JOY cookies!  The entire conference was themed […]

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Part III – If Only My Board Would Help! Invite them to Invest!

April 25, 2018

“Ambassadors ALL!” At my talk at the AFP International Conference in New Orleans, I kicked off with a TEST! “Stand up if you think it’s true, “Board members should not be pressured into giving or helping raise money.” I’d say it was about 50/50. Answer? True. More on that in a bit. Reconnecting with my […]

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Part II – If Only my Board would Help – Board Bonanza

April 11, 2018

Thinking of buying a Mini SUV? Suddenly you see them everywhere. Getting married? SO many must-haves! Taking up ballroom dancing? Posters for dances suddenly abound. Believe me–the cars, wedding info and dance clubs have always been there – NOW you notice and perhaps even get a bit overwhelmed! Do you really need a $90 wedding […]

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Part 1- If only my Board would help

March 23, 2018

I get an earful about Boards. You may feel it’s going pretty well with your Board or you may not even be a part of the Board meetings (sigh). You may be pleased with the contributions they are making – of time and dollars – or be ready to “pass the hat” and go for […]

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Face-to-Face for the First Time-Do’s and Don’ts

March 7, 2018

You got the appointment! WoHoo! First time Face-to-Face visits are huge in creating the deeper engagement and giving that you want to inspire. They can be scary too. You want to make a good impression, discover more about your prospective major giver, but not be “too much.” Let’s make this the beginning of a LONG […]

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Five Tips to Handle Scandals

February 22, 2018

May you never need this… Remember…”I CREATE MY LIFE!” Right? We do. We must take responsibility for our choices. But, we don’t always make the best choices. Notice I’m putting everyone in this picture. In my 30 plus years in advancement leadership and coaching, I’ve experienced inappropriate photos of elderly residents on Facebook, fraud accusations […]

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