WRITTEN BY: AMBER HAYWOOD, CEO
I remember my very first role as a frontline fundraiser and relationship manager. I was eager – and so proud – to be the first point of contact for individual and institutional donors alike. I had done everything you can do in a development shop. From gift processing and database management to grant writing and meeting prep, I had done it all! And I finally got promoted to a frontline fundraiser.
While I knew I was ready for the role, I had NO IDEA how difficult it would be. Besides frontline fundraising, I also had to stay on top of grant writing, appeal writing, meeting prep, board reports… you know. All the things!
On more than one occasion, I went weeks without doing any meaningful donor outreach!
Finally, I found a simple and effective system that worked. I didn’t need a spreadsheet or a convoluted five-tab relationship plan. I needed something that didn’t overwhelm me.
I focused on bite-sized chunks. I decided to make three calls a day, write three thank-you notes a day, and request three meetings each day.
And you know what? It worked!
Modern research corroborates my method. In his book, Atomic Habits, author James Clear illustrates the power of habit and how to build them. He also stressed:
With this system, I printed out 5 checklists each week and placed them on a clipboard on my desk. Each morning I took five minutes to write out my list. Sometimes, simply writing the list was the step I needed to gain momentum. Most days, I completed my checklist before I finished my first cup of coffee!
As always, we’re not in the business of keeping secrets. So I’ve created a printable checklist for you to do the same. Print it out, place it on your desk, and get to work.
You got this!
P.S. If daily still feels like a bit much, I’ve also added a weekly checklist. No guilt. No shame. Only grace and progress.
And if you’re ready for more help, our boutique consulting firm offers:
© 2023 FUNDRAISE INC.