Raising more money isn’t a function of “finding the next, best new idea.”
Creating more trust with your alumni base won’t occur because you spent a half day in a brainstorming session to identify how best to communicate with them.
Your next campaign won’t be successful because you came up with the most imaginative, viral social media meme.
The idea of finding the next new or ‘best idea’ is seductive. But, it’s also a fairytale.
“If only we could identify the most appealing/newest/best/donor-centered strategy to implement. . . Then, we would be successful.”
It’s almost never a lack of new or best ideas that are causing our performance gaps. New ideas and best practices are everywhere. Conferences, colleagues, the internet, artificial intelligence. Literally, in a matter of seconds, you can identify 3 or more fresh, ‘best practices’ on just about any advancement topic you want to explore.
If we want to do advancement work better and get ever-increasing results, we are far better off to follow this 3-step process:
- Identify the purpose or goal for our strategy. Is it raise more money? Is it involve more people at an event? Is it, get more alumni to complete a survey?
- Identify the simplest, most cost-effective strategy we can implement that also limits the risk of significant miscues or hurdles.
- Implement the strategy consistently.
Yes, there is always a planning season if we want to do this work well.
But, consistent implementation of a mediocre strategy will outperform inconsistent implementation of the most captivating strategy.