New Year’s Resolutions … you’ve probably made a few. They state your intention to do better at something in the New Year.
The truth is that resolutions are easier to make than to keep.
Making and maintaining change is difficult. We break more resolutions than we keep. The ones kept, though, bring positive change to us and those around us.
What’s even more exciting is a little can go a long way. One small action can have a big impact. Making and keeping a resolved change creates new opportunity, and a hopeful future.
I’d like to tell you a story to illustrate this point.
Making a Difference, One Starfish at a Time
Perhaps you’ve heard this story, but let me share it as it relates to raising major gifts.
Once there was an old man who walked the beach every morning. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and he found the beach littered with starfish.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As he grew closer, the man could see that the boy was bending down to pick up starfish and throw them back into the sea. The man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what you are doing?”
The young boy looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and when the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. You won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference for that one.”
That story is from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley and it makes a marvelous point.
Creating Positive Change
Like the boy in the story, you have the opportunity to help create positive change.
When that opportunity comes you may find yourself thinking, “I’m already really busy. How much of a difference can I honestly make”?
This is especially true when you are addressing massive social problems. Tackling world hunger or finding a cure for cancer — these are really big ideas. It’s hard to know where to start. So, sometimes you don’t.
It isn’t always big ideas … it can just be another thing to be done in an already busy life. It’s everyday things that can keep you from making the world better.
When you start thinking that way throw a starfish back into the sea. It’s a little thing that makes a difference. You might not be able to change the entire world, but at least you can change a small part of it, perhaps in a very profound way.
There’s a good chance the prospect of creating positive change pulled you into philanthropy in the first place.
Just think about it … One life saved … educated … fed. Profound, life changing help that ripples through that person’s family, friends, and community at large.
One Small Change Can Make a Huge Difference
It’s amazing how even a small change can make a big difference. And so it goes with raising major gifts.
If you call one donor every workday, you will have made approximately 250 calls over the course of a year.
If you commit just 2 hours per week to raising major gifts, that’s still over 100 hours in a given year. While it’s not a huge time commitment on a weekly basis, it really adds up over time.
Even little things can make big changes when they are consistent.
The heart of the art of raising major gifts is consistency. A little bit of pressure applied in the just right places, over a long period of time, produces major gift diamonds.
- Small changes.
- Consistent application.
- Big results.
It all adds up.
Sometimes the Best Intentions Aren’t Enough
Over the past year, the Major Gifts Challenge has provided you with step-by-step instructions on how to raise major gifts. Hundreds of nonprofit professionals jumped at the chance to learn to raise major gifts.
Unfortunately … many didn’t follow through.
Every situation is different. Perhaps a tweak here and nuance there would make the difference. If you struggled to keep up with the Major Gifts Challenge, you’re not alone. Sometimes it takes more than a series of step-by-step instructions and good intentions…
…Sometimes it takes a mentor.
…Sometimes it takes encouragement.
…Sometimes it takes cheerleading from a group of peers.
…Sometimes you need to be held accountable.
…Sometimes you simply need to be given a hand to hold to walk you through the process.
Guiding You, One Small Change at a Time
Through Mastering Major Gifts, I’m able to extend my hand and guide you through the process of raising major gifts as your personal mentor. Over a period of 7 weeks, I’ll walk you through the material one lesson at a time and help you apply it at your organization.
In addition, this 35 CFRE credit course provides role play exercises, worksheets, templates, peer groups, accountability tools, and so much more.
Mastering Major Gifts was created because I understand how hard it is to remain committed to raising major gifts when your time is so scarce and support is at a minimum.
If you struggled with sticking to the Major Gifts Challenge, Mastering Major Gifts is exactly what you need.
A Second Chance to Commit to Raising Major Gifts
If you’re one of the many who committed to raising major gifts in the Major Gifts Challenge but had trouble following through, you’re about to get another chance.
Enroll in Mastering Major Gifts
Throwing one starfish back in the sea creates a ripple of change. It is a powerful statement that attracts the attention and imagination of others.
The boy on the beach did good. With a little help he could have done better.
You simply need the right tool, and someone to guide you through to the end.
You can do it … with just a little hand-holding. Join me…