Ignore This and Fail

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By Richard Perry

I titled this post negatively: “Ignore This and Fail.”

Here’s why.

I wanted to get your attention.

I know this is personal. This is about you, how you work and what you pay attention to. And this is part of your work that has nothing to do with strategy, the quality of the donor or what you have to offer the donor.

This is why this body of work is often overlooked in major gift work. It’s simply this: What is it that you are not doing, that you know you should be doing?

There is no need to feel bad about any of this. We all have things in all aspects of our lives that we know we need to do but don’t want to. I have my list. You have yours.

Here’s another question: What’s on your list of things you know you need to do with your caseload donors today and this week? Make the list. It may have things on it like this:

  1. Call those donors you said you would call.
  2. Prepare a “You Made a Difference” report for those donors who need to know that their giving made a difference.
  3. Make appointments with those donors you promised to meet.
  4. Call those donors who need to know that the program they are supporting has changed and make sure they are OK with continuing their giving.
  5. Respond to that donor who had a complaint and process that concern.
  6. Revisit the goal you have for all your caseload donors through the end of 2017.
  7. Update the plans you have for donors who have not given yet this year.
  8. Prepare a report on your progress to date for your manager even though he or she has not asked for it. Make sure your manager understands the good work you are doing.
  9. Schedule the other things you know you need to get done but don’t have time to do today. In other words, get all that is left to do on your schedule so you actually do them in the next seven business days.

There may be other things you need to get done. Add them to your list.

Here’s the point: Look at those things you need to get done or have been avoiding and propose to do them. As an act of your will, conjure up the discipline to just do them.


Act of your will.

Not necessarily fun – but necessary.

You can do it. And when you do it, it will get you closer to success.

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