Happy New Year! This is the time of year so many of us make resolutions for the upcoming year — some of them we even keep!  Last year at this time, I decided to stop drinking any kind of soda. I had become convinced I didn’t need the diet or the sugary versions. And you know what? This was one I actually kept. I’ve been soda-free for a full year!

    DBD-resolutions-graphic-500x500John Norcross, in his book Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions, makes these following suggestions:

    1. Make changes to your behavior. Changing your routine can bring different results. Instead of trying the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome, people need to modify their behaviors.
    2. Define SMART goals. When setting targets, use the SMART acronym: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-specific.
    3. Track your progress.
    4. Reward small achievements.
    5. Make it public.

    This is such good advice for our personal lives and fundraising lives.  In my first three blogs of 2014, I want to use this advice as a backdrop for some thoughts that have been brewing for me since I finished Jim Collins’ book Great By Choice.

    Collins describes leaders who are great by choice as “10X leaders.” One of the characteristics of a 10X leader is the ability to maintain a “20 Mile March.”  The 20 Mile March is hitting performance targets with great consistency year over year.

    He reiterates that the march needn’t be just financial — it can be a service improvement march, a creative march etc.  10X leaders and great fundraisers deliver on these marches year after year.

    The annual campaign is a 20 Mile March: consistent growth every year.  In 2014, let’s not load up our annual campaigns with non-repeatable gifts (some are dreading 2014 because of these decisions made in 2013).  Remember: the best predictor of future giving is current giving.

    Your march could also include a endowment / planned gift strategy.Commit to a solid program which marches forward with solid results every year.

    Why not commit now to a “20 Mile March” in 2014? What will your SMART goals be? What small achievements can you celebrate along the way?

    I’m looking forward to marching together in 2014!

    Posted by Bruce Berglund on Jan. 2, 2014
    Bruce Berglund

    Written by Bruce Berglund

    Bruce Berglund, CFRE, is the founder and President of DBD Group, a national firm providing comprehensive consulting services to nonprofits, faith-based organizations, colleges and more. Bruce is a highly sought-after writer, speaker and teacher.

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