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Are you ready for the new year? Are you charged up and ready to go? Is this the year when everything will be different, in a good way? Are you busy making lists and thinking about how quickly you can accomplish those things that often take a year – or years – to manifest? Do you believe you can make it all happen all at once, if only you approach things the “right way?” If this is you, we have three words of unsolicited advice: not too fast.

We know this isn’t what you want to hear, but we’re offering it up anyway. You can’t do everything at once and we don’t want you to get lost in a flurry of starting 100 projects only to find yourself tired, stretched too thin, resentful, and – alas – unaccomplished! We suggest the “no shortcuts” method instead of the “everything now” program.

Our suggestions begin with words of confession: we too wish we could accomplish everything we want to accomplish, and that we could do so now. But when we look at the 24 hours before us, or the 365 days that glimmer with possibility, we realize there’s only so much one can do. So we take that realization and shape it into our maxim: do it well. Don’t do it all, just do it well. If you want to do it all, then build a team. but remember, building a team is an activity in itself that takes time and energy. It’s worth it, but like everything else it doesn’t happen overnight.

So, before you go to sleep tonight write a list of everything you want to accomplish in the coming year. Put it under your pillow and read it again when you rise. Cross out those things you know you won’t take on. Keep it real. Think about what you can accomplish. Consider those things you want to do, but don’t have time to do. Contemplate how you can lay the ground work for their success in the future. Make those longer term goals part of your regular activities. Its like the promises we make to eat right and exercise. If we drink carrot juice for a month and go to the gym each day at 5am we’ll end up tired with an orange colored hue to our skin and a desire to binge watch and binge eat. Let’s go instead with introducing a little bit of something new into our lives instead of a total reinvention.

In terms of fundraising, we recommend a single overarching theme for your work, and within that to focus on one aspect of fundraising such as on-line giving or major gifts fundraising. You’ll have to simultaneously keep multiple aspects of fundraising going, but focus on growing one aspect. You can’t drop everything to take on something new. We know that consistent focus builds muscles and contributes to fundraising success. Let’s not try to do it all at once, let’s focus on what we can do well.

Copyright 2023 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you plan for 2023! Video and phone conferencing services are always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727.

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