One Thing That's Always True in Fundraising


Lead Gen 3 -Strategy Guide Figure Out Why Your Campaign is Stalled and How to Fix It (3)

This month we'll be highlighting the core questions thriving nonprofit leaders use to assure their organizations are able to continue to serve the community. And, we'll be sharing how to answer these leading questions and the resulting impact.


Truisms That Hold Strong

In the 1991 movie, “City Slickers” Curly, an old cowboy played by Jack Palance, asks Mitch, played by Billy Crystal, this question, “Do you know what the secret of life is? One thing. Just one thing.” Mitch asks what it is. Curly replies, “That’s what you gotta figure out.”

In the end, the “one thing” was your own personal meaning of life and each person needs to uncover it on their own.

While I’m still working on that, it brought to mind other “one things” that are a little more universal. For example:

In baseball, the one thing is: keep your eye on the ball
Yoga: Breathe
Golf: Keep your head down.
Relationships: Never go to bed angry.
Construction: Measure twice, cut once.
Driving: Keep your hands at 10 and 2.
Hiking: Leave no trace.
Health: Hydrate (well, and get your sleep).
Cooking: Taste it before you serve it (yeah, it probably needs a little salt).
Golden rule: Treat others how you want to be treated.
Fashion: No white after Labor Day.
My travel philosophy: Always take the backroads.

Related Post: Why Trumps What

Fundraising Rule One

And in our world of fundraising, the one thing I’ve always found to be true is: Start with WHY. WHY you do the work you do is infinitely more important and compelling than WHAT you do. Why you do the work is the thing that will motivate volunteers to give their time and donors to give their financial support. Always start with your why.

So while I’m still trying to figure out the meaning of life, at least there are a few “one things” I do know to be true. What are yours?

Related Post: What’s Your Why


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Posted by Thom Peters
Thom Peters

Written by Thom Peters

A fascination with people and service has been the essential driving force behind Thom’s work with local and national non-profit organizations. Thom’s career in service began with his first summer as a YMCA camp counselor in college. From there, he went on to build a 30-year career within the not-for-profit arena.

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