It’s easy to complain that our institution doesn’t have the support from the types of wealthy donors that other institutions enjoy. Far more difficult to engage, invite, and steward the donors who currently support our mission.
It’s easy to identify the shortcomings of the individual who held our position before we arrived. Far more difficult to implement the plans and scaffolding so that the person who comes after us is better positioned for success.
It’s easy to set up visits with the friendly donor who gives at modest levels but will not make a major gift and claim that donor stewardship is important. Far more difficult to creatively invite legitimate prospective major donors to meet for the first time.
It’s easy to react defensively when an advancement team colleague suggests a change to the magazine cover we designed. Far more difficult to listen with the intent to understand and with the acknowledgement that others who are not creatives may have insightful observations about our work.
It’s easy to check off our “to-do” list of tasks and claim a productive day. Far more difficult to recognize that the tasks we complete in advancement are almost always outputs and are not synonymous with the donor engagement outcomes that truly define success.
Doing the far more difficult usually begins with a conscious willing to move beyond the comfortable.
And, almost always, doing the far more difficult results in better outcomes.