March 18, 2019

Waiting Well and Leadership: Make Delay Your Best Friend

Make Delay Your Best Friend ForeverIn another life, Elaine and Justin, a favorite couple of mine, gave me this sound advice: Do all the things you want while you’re still single. When you’re married, things get more complicated. My friends taught me how to wait well.

You also wait. You pursue more money, resources, donors, customers, and supporters. You know they’re coming, but they aren’t here, yet. How can you wait well? Set up your systems and process that will make your organization a success now and later. It’s a lot less complicated now than when you land the resources you seek.

Here are three processes to grow while you wait:

  1. A Superlative Thank-you for Your Donation Process

Figure out how the person who opens the mail pokes the thank-you-note writer and the letter gets written in 48-hours. Create a series of templates for donors who give multiple gifts. Watch this video on note content.

  1. A Board Culture that Embraces Helping with Fundraising

Yes, your board’s primary responsibility is to govern. However, to thrive nonprofits need board support. You influence what goes on the agenda and what you report to your board. How are you asking for and reinforcing the behaviors you want? See Guilty as Charged, Prove Your Board Supports Your Organization.

  1. A Procedure Evaluates to Evaluate Revenue Costs

As you continue to grow, you will discover even more revenue opportunities. How will you quickly determine your best options? Make it your habit now to evaluate your income, costs, and risks. Start by assessing the expenses involved with different streams. For example, “We received a grant for $5,000. It took us ten hours to write it and complete the site visit.”  “A donor gave us $10,000. We had seven interactions with him before we closed the gift.”


Add Value today: Choose one of these processes to perfect and make waiting your best friend.

For more answers, check out this Nonprofit  CEO Library.

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Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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