“We don’t have the money to do that.”
I hear this statement (or another variation on the theme – “we have too much on our plate already”) far too often. And it is almost never the reason why we don’t attempt a new direct mail strategy or make more visits on our most promising donors or create more engaging competitions (with prizes) for our phonathons.
Instead, it’s an easy response to give when we are in a State of Lack.
We might lack the creativity to pull off a grand idea. We might lack the vision to see how a new strategy could be effective. But in most instances, we lack the belief – the faith – that we can do something big, something important, something that can radically change our institution’s circumstances. We simply don’t believe it.
And in place of all that lack and disbelief, we say firmly, “we can’t afford it.” It’s an idea killer.
Yes, money is tight in many institutions. But, in most instances, we don’t lack money. Ask your CEO if you can spend an extra $7,000 (not in the budget) on a new integrated social medial-direct mail-phonathon strategy that you’ve planned and have projected will bring in an extra $50,000 and see if your institution lacks the money.
What we lack, usually, is the faith that we can change our institution’s reality. Yes, our institution’s past may be filled with lack. But the future picture of our institution is waiting to be painted. And advancement teams hold the brushes.
If we push aside the thoughts of lack, we give ourselves room to plan, prepare, and implement the types of strategies and programs that inspire, encourage, and stimulate others to join with us in the transformation of our institutions and the lives of those we serve. Lack keeps that from happening. Faith guarantees that it will.