Failure to Calendarize? (For Leaders and Coaches Only)

© The Navigators

© The Navigators

A hidden obstacle to your staff’s funding.

A mission leader asked me a great question this week. One of his top staff turns in excellent fundraising plans—his funding goal is clearly identified, and his Top 25 prospects are listed. But he never seems to act on the good work he has done in planning. He is successful when he makes appeals—but he never gets around to it.

The leader was perplexed. What is going on here?

Most likely this is the “Failure to Calendarize Syndrome!” “Calendarize” is a real word—I looked it up!

Here is what I suggested:

  • Compliment him on his plan, and ask him to show you his calendar for the next 90 days.
  • Review the calendar and ask, “Do you have any major travel or events coming up in the next 90 days that will totally devastate your fundraising plans?” Most do not.
  • Ask, “Is it realistic for you to hold one face-to-face appointment per week for the next 90 days—about 12 appointments?” Most gospel workers I have coached over the years think that is do-able.
  • Looking at his calendar together (or ‘timetable’ as my African friends call it) suggest: “Let’s set aside a few hours right now for you to work each week on the funding plan you have developed.” It takes about three hours per week to set up and hold one face-to-face appointment.
  • Digitally or with a pencil, insert three hours dedicated to fundraising on the calendar each week for the next 90 days. Need not be the same day or time each week.

As his supervisor do not make the mistake of leaving calendar work up to him without your input. If left to himself to find three hours or more per week, it will not happen. Deliberately lead him to calendarize his plan.

If a staff is well below budget, they must set aside more than three hours per week. If they hesitate, I remind them of how far below budget they are and that they ought not to be so casual about reaching full funding.

Of course, the calendar must have flexibility—life happens! But if your staff fail to calendarize, they are not serious about full funding. Or perhaps, they do not have the life skills to execute what they must do. You can help them to Calendarize!