Data only works if YOU do! Part I

by Marcy Heim on June 12, 2019

Funny isn’t it?  We crave proof that we are succeeding or can be successful.  Numbers.  Data.  Somehow if we have the data then we feel more confident – confident it will work…or it won’t work!

Data with computers


But let’s get real here, folks.  Data only works if YOU do.

Let me give you a few examples…

  1. If your goal is to lose weight, you can create systems to track weight, footsteps, pulse, calories, carbs, and protein for all sorts of foods and drinks. You can research different diets.  You can buy a treadmill. FACT – you only lose weight when you change how you eat and exercise.
  2. If your goal is more time with family, you can research activities to do together or post the kid’s sports schedules on your phone and fridge.  FACT – you only spend more time together when you stop working, or cleaning the house, or whatever and DO something together or GO to the game (without being glued to your phone and working anyway – just saying.)
  3. If your goal is to develop a new skill…. perhaps learn another language or make an artful major gift ask, you can buy an online course or program. FACT – you only learn the skill if you download the product and do the lessons. Some of us have really smart computers – unfortunately the learning stopped there.
  4. If your goal is to raise MORE Major Gifts™ you can buy a wealth screening to apply to your data base, you can segment your current donors, you can buy a new data base with more tools, and/or you can create metrics for your development team to meet. FACT – you only raise MORE Major Gifts™ when you actually connect with people, explore the fit between your mission and their values and ASK for anything Artfully.™  In other words, create the relationships and ask for the gifts.
  5. If your goal is to raise $9M or $2M or $200,000 in a campaign, you can drop $25k or more on a feasibility study and get data that says there are people who will give to the project. Or, you may get news you don’t want to hear.  FACT – you only raise the goal if you create clear giving options, make the calls, build the relationships, and ask OR deal with the concerns outlined in the report first.

Data only works if YOU do!


Collecting data tricks us into thinking we are successful. What it really increase successsays is that we have the OPPORTUNITY to be successful if we TAKE ACTION WITH THE DATA!



OR data can say things we don’t want to hear. Again, what it really says is that we have the OPPORTUNITY to be successful if we TAKE ACTION WITH THE DATA!

Taking action requires getting your mindset aligned for success and surrounding yourself with the partners who can help you stay on track.

Within every success is someone who is coachable and a competent coach.  Few of us can make changes and stay on track without accountability and support.

Thus, the most important data facts to collect are all the reasons WHY you want to accomplish this goal to help create a mindset that says you simply MUST do this!  The most important research to conduct is securing the right partner – paid or otherwise – to help you interpret the data, stay on track and hold you accountable to taking action, no matter your fears or excuses – More on this in PART II.

DREAM! ACT! ACHIEVE!  I so appreciate you! You have what it takes to get it done! Your small and larger actions help good happen in your families, organizations and communities.

That’s the best data of all!


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

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