Yes, it’s Apparently
a Marathon

Susan E Mangels Senior Vice President Consulting Services at AC Fitzgerald Author

Susan E. Mangels, Ph.D, Senior Vice President of Consulting Services

Many of us thought (desperately hoped) that the pandemic would be just a short hiatus from business as usual – perhaps a month or six weeks, tops. With simple public health steps, we’d be back to normal by April! Remember “15 Days to Slow the Spread”?

Instead we’ve all had to adjust to a completely new world, all without knowing exactly what’s around the next bend or what the next mile will entail. The process of adjustment is certainly proving to be more of a long haul, than a short sprint.

In this proverbial marathon it might be helpful (and fun) to look at some tips from actual marathon experts to help us achieve this year’s fundraising goals!

  • Set a training schedule. Make sure that you have a 2021 development plan with goals, specific deadlines, actions, and responsibilities.
  • Dress the part. Create a functional and pleasant home workspace. Clear clutter, have good light, physically protect from distraction as much as is possible.
  • Eat breakfast and warm up. Consider setting a pre-work morning routine for your day. Regular habits of exercise or meditation are good preparation for productive days.
  • Drink early & often; refuel regularly. Staying comfortably hydrated and nourished is essential for long distance runners and for effective, energized, and clear-headed fundraisers too.
  • Run for a purpose. Carve out one work hour each day for ‘deep work’- a time in which you work uninterrupted to complete a specific, particularly meaningful objective.
  • Set your finish goals. Set a schedule and objectives for daily work, then close the computer at the end of the day. If you find yourself returning to ‘catch up’ in the evening or to sneak more work on planned time off, re-think your game plan.
  • Visualize success. Keep your end goal in mind. Not just your fundraising goal, but your organization’s goal – always remember the why.
  • One foot in front of the other – again, and again, and again. Know that great fundraising success happens by showing up and doing the right things. Day after day. One day at a time.

I hope some of this cross-over wisdom is helpful as we all carry on in this crazy marathon! You can also refresh your memory with our previous tips for effective fundraising in volatile times.

Carry on!

Susan E. Mangels, Ph.D. serves as Senior Vice President of Consulting Services at AC Fitzgerald. She uses her expertise in fundraising, management, and leadership development to oversee our consulting efforts and deliver exceptional service to clients.

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