by Terry Fairholm on 2010-11-01
On Sunday, October 24, 2010 my brother, Don, and I ran a half marathon in Niagara Falls. It was in honor of my Dad, Ron Fairholm, who had passed away in July of 2009. My Dad introduced us to running and we wanted to do something to honor him on his birthday so we trained and ran the 13.1 miles.
What does this have to do with major gifts? While I was running (for 1 hour and 55 minutes) I noticed a t-shirt that another runner was wearing that read 'Do Hard Things'. That got me thinking about a lot but particularly our business.
The 'do hard things' attitude is characteristic of a specific profile of individual. The individual must be driven to achieve and to reach specific goals; the individual isn't afraid of a setback and knows that failure is really just a learning opportunity; they will put themselves on the line and be willing to compete; they are typically good team players and won't ever give up; they want to 'push the envelope' and experience a higher level of competition.
Sound familiar? These are all required characteristics of a good development/major gift professional.
This business requires the 'do hard things' personal profile. It requires a person with the qualities mentioned above. Raising money is hard - especially today. It requires the right people doing the right things in a disciplined, assertive and consistent manner.
Are you doing all that you can to meet your objectives? Do you have a specific solicitation call and cultivation call goal for the week/month/year? How are you doing so far?
As you plan and execute your major gift program for this year, think about the 'do hard things' attitude and required characteristics. Make no mistake, this is a competition and it's hard. You've been chosen to compete for your school. You must have a winning mindset and the 'do hard things' attitude.