In our last post, Fundraising in the Dip, we exlpored Seth Godin's thoughts on "dips" and "cul-de-sacs" from his latest book, The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick).
Today, let's look at the 3 questions Seth recommends we ask before we quit.
1. Am I Panicking?
"Quitting is not the same as panicking. Panic is never premeditated. Panic attacks us, it grabs us, it is in the moment. Quitting when you're panicked is dangerous and expensive."
Godin says that the best quitters always choose to quit before hand. At year-end, or any time we see our fundraising falling short of our goals, we may panic. But jumping ship in panic is not what quitting is about.
2. Who Am I Trying To Influence?
Are you trying to succeed in a market?...If you're trying to influence just one person, persistence has its limits...If you're trying to influence a market, though, the rules are different.
This is worth the price of the book. More than that. In fundraising we often get focused on individual prospects. So focused, that we forget we're really trying to influence an entire community. Rather than getting a gift, our goal should be becoming the charity of choice for our typical constituent.
Read that one twice. It's that good.
3. What Sort Of Measurable Progress Am I Making?
If you're trying to succeed in a job or a relationship or at a task, you're either moving forward, falling behind, or standing still. There are only three choices.
If money is the only measure of our success, we're in trouble. No matter how much we raise, it's never enough. Our board or boss or our own inner voice will want us to raise more.
But money is like a harvest. In my seminars, I stress that fundraising is pretty agricultural. A farmer can't just go harvest. He needs to till the soil, plant seeds, tend the seeds, etc.
If all you're measuring is the harvest, chances are great that you're neglecting identifying good soil, tending the seed, etc.
If you're simply in the Dip, the harvest of may not be there yet. But if you're making quality contacts, cultivating them, and stewarding those that have given, the harvest is probably just around the corner.
Panicking, influencing, and measuring. As you look forward to the next 12 months, how can you work these into your plan?