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Viken Mikaelian CEO

Viken Mikaelian CEO

Majorgifts.com LLC

10 Habits of Successful Fundraisers

Here are 10 tips that I’ve developed by studying — and emulating — the habits of people who live the good life. Most of these tips apply not only to successful fundraisers, but to successful people in general. I take these seriously every day, and I hope you will too:

  1. They are making time count — they are not counting time. This hit me hard after my cancer diagnosis. Read it twice.
  2. Their daily to-do lists are made the night before. Their weekly lists by Sunday evening.
  3. They are at work early, and they leave late. This buys them the ticket to take off when they want.
  4. They are not hanging out by the water cooler (unless they are discussing the next major gift), nor waiting 20 minutes in line at lunch for their fancy coffee and chatting with their favorite barista (unless he’s the son of a major donor).
  5. They are not posting articles that bemoan how rate changes or tax laws will spell gloom and doom for generations of nonprofits to come.
  6. They do not labor over politics; they leave their egos at home.
  7. They study the people business — not the legal business.
  8. They do not have call reluctance. A simple phone call and a “hello” to a donor can change someone’s life that very day.
  9. All electronic notifications are shut off if they need to focus on a critical task. This includes closing the door to avoid colleagues who are time vampires.
  10. They follow the 80/20 priority rule. Oh boy, do priorities count! And they make a huge difference when it comes to Tip No. 1. If you are not familiar with the 80/20 rule, study it. Otherwise, you’ll remain where you are in your career.

Many people are on the sidelines waiting for something to happen in their lives…that is, “killing time.” But you can never kill time — that’s a fact of life. Time kills you. So, go on and make it count before it counts you!

By the Numbers

Consider the recruitment opportunities for your organization that these stats indicate:

  • About 63 million Americans (25% of the adult population) volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference.
  • These people spend an average of 52 hours/year volunteering.
  • 72% of volunteers are involved with only one organization, while 18.3% are involved with two.

Random interesting stats presented monthly from various sources.