- A famous 3-step tip for improving your golf game goes like this. After playing a round of golf where you scored badly, resolve to do better! But do not go to the practice range! Instead:
- Go to the clubhouse and order a cool drink.
- As you relax take your scorecard and study it slowly. Discern specifically where mistakes were made—number of putts, errant drives off the tee, scuffed short irons, and so on.
- Make a note to improve one thing for your next round.
These three points will help your fundraising! As you begin a new fundraising cycle it is tempting to dive in with a flurry of activities. But slow down. Find a cool (or hot) drink and study your "scorecard" before you mail one more letter or make one more phone call.
Your scorecard? The Up Till Now Report. If you don’t study your fundraising numbers you will not know where you are making mistakes. And you will miss out on feeling encouraged because the Up Till Now Report also shows what you did well.
For example, one senior staff had never studied his numbers and assumed he was doing poorly in fundraising. So we sat at his kitchen table with his calendar one Saturday morning and reviewed his every appointment and phone appeal for the past 12 months. When finished he said, “Wow! I did pretty well, didn’t I?”
Yes he did. He was12 out of 20 yeses on appeals, but all he could remember were the three ‘no’s!’ And they weren’t even “Heck no’s!”
The Up Till Now Report brings objectivity—the truth serum of fundraising! Studying your “scorecard” is essential for effective fundraising. Create your own scorecard by downloading the Up Till Now Report on this website.
Okay! It’s time to get started! Track down your cool or warm drink and download your Up Till Now Report! Tips:
- The Up Till Now Report only report those to whom you have already appealed. Do not include those you hope to ask in the future—they go on your Top 25 list.
- Include the date of the appeal and the type of appeal. Follow the code at the bottom. F=face-to-face, P=phone, L=letter, G=group appeal, E=electronic or social media, WO=walk on (donors who started giving without an appeal—taken from sports where a non-scholarship player “walks on” to the practice field and makes the team). Some appeals may be a combination such as asking in a letter and following up by phone (L/P). Studying the appeal types helps you know which ones are most effective.
- Don’t forget to add up your totals at the bottom of the page.
- Analyze what your “scorecard” tells you. What is one thing you can improve?
Also, I find that in starting a new funding campaign I often cannot think of where to start—I’m fresh out of ideas and assume I have no one to go visit. But filling out the Up Till Now Report floods my mind with ideas.
Proverbs 21:5 applies here: "The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.” I know you are eager to reach full funding—I am with you. But first, slow down and diligently study your funding results of the last 12 months. Hastiness leads to poverty. Diligent planning leads to advantage.