chapter 33 Infrastructure for Fundraising

Effective time management often marks the difference between a good fundraiser and someone who is never going to make it in this field. Partly, this is because a fundraising job is never done and you are never caught up on your work, so you have to be very clear about your priorities. And partly it is because of a corollary of Parkinson’s Law that states that expenses rise to meet income. The more successful the fundraising plans are, the more plans the organization will make to spend that money. Consequently, no amount of money raised is ever enough. Fundraising staff (paid and unpaid) must set their own limits, because no matter how supportive the organization may be of your work, it is still relentless in its need for more money.

But the main reason good time management will separate otherwise quite talented people from those who actually do well in fundraising is that the purpose of time management is to help make you happy. Excellent fundraisers are, by nature, optimistic. For example, we believe the next person we ask might respond with an enthusiastic “YES!!” However, our enthusiasm can wane under the pressures of a job that has huge responsibility without a whole lot of authority. If you are not able to set your own boundaries around your work and you don’t feel that the priorities you have are taking maximum advantage of your time and talent, you will soon be unhappy in your job, and, in what sometimes becomes a vicious circle, ...

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