Things to Do With Your Time & Resources Right Now

"It is the still, small voice that the soul heeds, not the deafening blasts of doom."
- William Dean Howells

As we work in these interesting times, I trust that you continue to listen to that still, small voice. I take heart as I consistently still hear many stories of organizational fundraising success and personal client victories.

With steeled resolution, consider the following list of seven significant ways to use our time and energy in these days of predicted gloom:

1 - Turn off the television. We can't stick our heads in the sand, but we can take a break from incessantly and negatively editorialized messages of what is happening or may happen.

2 - Be responsive, not reactive. Know what is going on in your communities - the ones you serve and the ones that serve you - and respond accordingly. Gather external data and use it in ways that positively propel both you and your partners.

3 - Work hard, most especially on the "Important But Not Urgent" activities. I have been pleased that many of our recent inquiries for services have been for strategic planning. This is a good time to focus on those back-burner projects - the 20% that ultimately result in 80% of our progress and success in the good times, and especially the not-so-good.

4 - Don't use the perceived state-of-the-nation as an excuse. Last summer, I saw a business shut its doors within hours (I am not kidding), HOURS of the announced national economic downturn. The owner blamed the economy. Sorry, I don't buy it; this business was obviously on the edge all along. Don't use external trends as an excuse for internal shortcomings...or to be lazy, when we really need to be kicking things into high gear.

5 - Check the numbers before jumping to conclusions. There is a tendency to believe certain things are true when they simply are inaccurate. Gather the numbers and analyze them carefully before concluding that bad things are happening within your organization. Remember that in an "average recession," giving declines one percent. That's right, ONE percent (Patrick M. Rooney, director of research for the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University).

6 - Give back. There's no better time than now. If you believe that your customers don’t have any money to spend, that your donors have nothing to give at the moment, all the better - it's a great time for you to give something to them. Most of us have a lot of 7-to-1 catching up to do, anyway (the 7-to-1 rule states that we should be in touch with a person seven times for every one time we ask for money).

7 - Continue to "Do What You Do." In his book "Quiet Strength," Tony Dungy talks about how he has spent years getting team members to perform at high levels by encouraging them to daily "do what we do." This, coupled with a high degree of integrity, faith and purposefulness, has proven a key to success on the football field and in life for the Superbowl-winning coach.

Strong Leaders / Strong Stories

Strong leaders have strong stories, and a solid sense of "self" as a leader.  But too often, even strong women view themselves or are perceived as being very good at "getting things done," but not as valuable strategic resources. What can you do to change this?  Find Out More Here