It’s the time of year for Big Goals! When we turn the calendar on a new year, it is natural to focus on the Big Picture. Restless to achieve, and unwilling to settle into a routine, we turn our thoughts to the Annual Plan, the Deferred Dreams, and the Lofty Ambitions. These items are capitalized because they are formal objects of our hopes, our imagination, and our energetic attention. They loom large in our minds and in our hearts, and they shape the plans we make for the coming year.
It is good for fundraisers to have Big Goals. There is always the next appeal that has to get in the mail, or the next fundraising event that needs to be planned, and then there are those three visits a week with donors and prospects that all fundraisers should be committed to. But the Big Goals are the reason that you do all these other things. So it is good to refresh your focus on the why of fundraising. Here are a few suggestions for clarifying the Big Goals for your non-profit organization:
First, Big Goals are mission driven and mission focused. Reread your organizational mission statement and be inspired by it again. Think about some instances last year where you saw your mission transform the lives of some individuals, and put names and faces on those transformational moments. Visualize that happening again in the new year to new people, and allow yourself to be thrilled by that potential. Your mission changes lives; just imagine the lives that will be changed this year.
Second, establish a sense of urgency about your Big Goals. Big Goals are big because they are important. Take a look at the current needs of the population you serve, and clarify what has changed in recent months that has sharpened the crisis or made your case more urgent. Imagine if your organization did not exist, and try to articulate the crisis that would result.
Third, lead a coalition to meet the urgent need and achieve the Big Goals.
Let others on your team know that you are serious about accelerating the impact of your mission on people’s lives. Remind them that they have the power to achieve that accelerated change and impact. Clarify roles and involve your team in making plans and carrying them out.
Fourth, communicate your Big Goals.
Let your donors and prospects in on your sense of urgency. Engage their imagination and their energy in the vision of transforming people’s lives. Let the impact of your work be known. Tell the stories showing the impact of their donations on individuals, families, and on the community. Sure, it is yet another restatement of your mission. But this time you are doing so at a time of year when we are all focused on the Big Goals, and after you have focused you and your team on the why of fundraising.
Have a great 2018! And may all of us achieve our Big Goals!
by: Steven Murphy, Ed.D., Senior Advisor, HUB Philanthropic Solutions