This month, the Donor By Design Team is discussing campaign readiness: the things that (should) happen before you begin a major fundraising campaign. Today, Jan shares how important it is that leaders are able to share your story with passion.
He was such a strong volunteer, often challenging and even a little intimidating, but he cared about the organization. Not just a little, but with a full, emotional, personal passion that drove his ceaseless desire for improvements.
When I was visiting with him about a capital project he shared a key thought that I’ve been reminded of in numerous situations since then. He said,
”Jan, we will be ready when the leaders OOZE with the story of this project.”
It was an interesting word choice for this college-educated, sophisticated, respected businessman in his eighties. As he went on I got a clearer picture of what he meant.
- The project must be bigger than your organization. He loved our city and knew this project could make a difference in the lives of many residents from all walks of life. He wanted that to be part of the story, not just how our organization would benefit.
- Everyone involved must to be able to tell your better story. He knew the story couldn’t be “owned” by one person. While he wanted the CEO to be a significant part of its development, he knew that key members of the Board had to own it as well. They had to talk about the project in their spheres of influence with passion, purpose and a sense of urgency.
- The timing must be right for the community. This volunteer believed that in significant capital projects, timing is everything. There must be a clear reason as to why the time is now. Leaders know the difference between forcing a project and sensing when it’s right for the community.
As you analyze readiness for a capital effort do you sense an ooze in your leaders and the way they are developing and telling the story of your project? In a formal readiness assessment we talk about this as the case.
My challenge to you is: know if your case is simply words on paper or do your leaders ooze with a passionate and purposeful story?