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

by Marcy Heim on 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 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

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