21 Things I Like

It’s a holiday week.  If you’re not out of the office, your head is probably halfway there.

A good time to share 21 things about our work (tools, tips, ideas) that I like.

  1. Hondas.  Or Camrys, Subarus, or Fords. The point is, don’t pick up your donor in a Tesla or a Mercedes.  It doesn’t look right.  Let your spouse drive the Beemer and enjoy it on the weekend.
  2. Zero-based budgeting. Hey, I was an English major.  But I’ve learned enough about budgets over the years to know that if you don’t start from scratch every time, new ideas won’t have the space they need to bubble up.  I want the old “tried and true” to compete for funding every year with those new ideas.  Zero-based budgeting does that.
  3. Donor Perfect. Mind you, they’re not paying me to say this.  I’ve actually worked with the industry leading database most of my career.  But that industry leader is like the human brain – you never use more than 15% of its capacity.  And it requires a staff person to be on it full-time.  Donor Perfect, on the other hand, is simple.  Been around for 30 years, more than 10,000 users, and does virtually everything you need a database to do.  I love simple.
  4. Carry-on luggage. I haven’t checked a bag for a flight in over 30 years.  The next time your plane is late and you’re waiting at the carousel for your bag, you will understand why.
  5. Celebrating a win. I am a big fan of stashing a bottle of champagne in a mini-fridge somewhere out of the way at the organization so that when a member of the staff does something really special, we can have an instant celebration.  That person will never forget it, and the rest of the staff will remember it, too.  A big win-win.  In our business we are way too quick to give a fast high-five and move on to the next thing.    Stop and celebrate.
  6. Coffee.  You may want to meet with a colleague or a member of your staff in a less formal setting.  Or, you’ve been meaning to catch up with that professional friend for months.  Coffee serves those purposes, and others, admirably.  Try someplace new, where you can talk and hear.
  7. Unique professional development. Is there a photography class at the community college your communications person would love to take?  Can you ask a friend who is a senior advancement professional to have coffee or lunch with one of your new staff?  Point is, if you can think of creative ways for your team to broaden their professional horizons, it can be more impactful and far less costly than the ubiquitous conference.

More later this week.  Have a good day, my friends.

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