As the end of 2016 approached, I came across an inspiring article titled “13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want to Be Successful”. The article focused on the idea that, in order to become successful and get closer to the person you or I can become, we don’t need to add more things – we need to give up some of them. This piece got me to thinking about how we in the development world take on too much at times and what can we “give up” to become a top performer. So, I came up with a list of 10 Things (+ 1) that you can think about and consider “giving up” as you strive to become a Top Performing Development Professional! This blog will describe the first FIVE.

The First 5 of 10 Things to Give Up to be a Top Performing Development Professional

1.     Give up trying to manage too many donors. Develop a list of your top 100, your top 50, and your top 25 and focus on them! Then strategize and formulate an annual plan for your top donors using the 5 I’s of fundraising.

2.     Give up trying to be the hero and win the game all by yourself. Your job is to serve as Quarterback, using your executive director, other development staff members (if there are any) other staff members, board members and key volunteers in the development plan for your top donors. Incorporate them into your plan, let them help you be successful.

3.     Give up worrying about where and how to find new donors. Instead, focus on the donors already in your database, and figure out how to make first time donors into lifetime donors. Remember, it’s easier to get an existing donor to renew than to try and find a new donor.

4.     Give up the distractions throughout the day that cause you to lose focus: social media, your cell phone, office gossip or politics, etc. Make sure your time is not torn away from the tasks at hand due to distractions that take you away from your job.

5.     Give up bad and lackluster communication between you and your team, between you and your executive director, between you and your board, etc. Instead, focus on an effective communication strategy between you and all of those on your team.

Next Week…the final 5 (plus 1).

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