If work wasn’t hard, they’d call it something else

When you were a kid, you probably loved obstacle courses. The tire maze, the rope swing, the wall… these were challenging obstacles, but ones you took on with glee. When — during our long road to adulthood — do we lose that sense of glee when presented with challenge? Work is hard and obstacles are… Read more

Your donors care more about “why”

Many staff in non profits, including Executive Directors, focus on what the organization does and how it does it. Your donors care more about why. Mark and I have been training a group of Executive Directors from children’s advocacy groups around the country on individual fundraising. During one of our day-long workshops, we asked them… Read more

Do you have a great relationship with your CEO or ED?

We’re about to release a study that we hope will get tongues wagging. The thesis? That in most organizations fundraising is limited more by internal structural and cultural issues than by lack of strategic or tactical know-how. Inspired by studies by the Haas Jr. Foundation,  we aim to solve this problem by helping organizations build a culture… Read more

The symptoms of “too many meetings” syndrome

Have you ever experienced “too many meetings syndrome?” The symptoms: Exhaustion due to back-to-back scheduling Straying attention span Anxiety over when you’ll get your real work done Confusion over who called this meeting and why Non profit staff are in too many meetings and it’s hurting productivity and impact. Every meeting you attend or lead… Read more

Get shit done

Can you get something done? Can you finish a project? Seth Godin calls this shipping. I call it getting shit done. He says people who ship are scarce. From experience, I agree. He writes, “If you can get something out the door while your competitors cringe in fear, you win. If you’re the team member that… Read more

When is a fail not a fail?

On Monday, I thought I failed — big time. In early November I became a foster mom to a sweet pit bull pup named Buttercup. She came into my life with intense karma — a stray with mange who had hustled hard to survive on the streets of Decatur, Georgia. As part of my family,… Read more

You are right: The art of beginner’s mind

You are an expert at something. You have experiences that have led you to believe that certain things are true and certain things are false. You know things. But what if I told you that all this knowing can sometimes be a great hindrance? Sometimes what we “know” gets in the way of what we’re currently… Read more