My easy secret from Stephen Covey to skyrocket your year-end fundraising (*free* download!)

October 8, 2015

2015 is flying by, isn’t it?

If you’re not already planning out your year-end fundraising, there’s no time like now to start.

If you’re old enough to remember when The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, you’ll love today’s tip. Seven Habits is a business and self-help book written by Stephen Covey, and back in the day it seemed like everyone was reading it. Me included.

Even today, the seven habits serve as solid reminders to all of us:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Put First Things First
  3. Think Win-Win
  4. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
  5. Synergize
  6. Sharpen the Saw

But Covey’s second habit is the one I want you to focus on today: Begin with the End in Mind.

7-habits-of-highly-effective-peopleWhat does that mean for you as you begin (or continue) plotting out your year-end fundraising? As you’re gathering together the pieces of your direct mail campaign, your online campaign, any events you’ve got going on, your Giving Tuesday campaign (if you’re participating)…where exactly should your focus lie?

Well here’s something that I’ve been doing since my earliest days as a development director (back in 2001): before you do anything, before you write your year-end direct mail package, before you write that email campaign, write your thank you letter.

Yep. In Covey’s words: “Envision what you want in the future so that you know concretely what to make a reality.”

You’ll be amazed at how leading with gratitude helps your entire year-end fundraising campaign to flow.

And to help you get started, I’m delighted to present you with my dear friend Lisa Sargent’s newly updated Better Donation Thank You Letter Checklist (click here to download).

Lisa Sargent has been called “one of the finest fundraising copywriters on the planet.” An award-winning international donor communications specialist who is dedicated to helping her nonprofit clients raise more money and retain more donors, Sargent is most often found behind the keyboard crafting successful direct mail appeals, newsletters, and other retention-driven communications. She is also the Founder of The Thank You Letter Clinic on SOFII.

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