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

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