Today is the last day of school for my kiddos.
Was I the parent that got up early to make homemade cinnamon rolls to send them off to the bus for the last time this year?
Was I extra attentive to packing a lunch and putting little things in there to wish them the best of a last day – even though they will more than likely spend it just playing outside for their final academic hurrah?
Was I immediately asked, for like 30 minutes this morning, on how many video games they could play during their break?
It’s officially summer gang. Which means only one thing to the nonprofit professional in charge of fundraising:
We legit only have 7 months left to get our goals met. YIKES. Time to press start. Speaking of video games, the coolest one I ever played as a kid, was the Legend of Zelda. It was, for the first time, that I was immediately warped into another world digitally, and I spent countless hours exploring and learning the game techniques, fighting for good, and finding treasure. A great analogy and set up for my fundraising career. But there was only one way to experience the highs and lows of the game. And it began on the title screen. Press Start. There wasn't a Press-Hold-On-Until-I-Get-It-Perfect button. It was a simple start button. Sure I had no idea what was about to happen. I, on many occasions, wandered into a place I wasn't prepared for, took my lumps and had to go back to the start. But I learned what to bring next, what to find next and different strategies that delayed the next "game over" screen on my TV. There are countless ways to play the game, I found out. In fact, you could skip whole portions of it, not explore every nook and cranny on the map and STILL win. And, if you were really lucky, a friend or hint in a magazine would help you get through sticky situations and assist in your quest to conquer some of the harder parts. You know what else is hard? Fundraising. We're so used to trudging forward alone, and on more than one occasion filled with second guesses on what to do next with our donors, staff, board members or individuals we serve. And though there are countless books and podcasts and folks with opinions on how to navigate these muddy waters, the only REALY good advice that you should ever take is: START. We're living in some really bizarre-o times. But that comes with knowing we'll be given an unbelievable amount of grace for the things that don't work out perfectly. But to get that kind of grace, you have to press start. We have a finite amount of time left this year to reach out audacious goals we set in January. And there are infinite amount of people who want to help, but don't have a roadmap to do it. Be that person that connects the dots for someone's desire to do good. Be the person that makes the kick off to summer as your reboot date. One of the coolest "secrets" in the original Legend of Zelda game was that you could start the second quest without finishing the first one by typing in 'ZELDA' as your name when starting up. You got all the cool stuff right away and then played a map that was totally different than the first. But it didn't feel as awesome playing the first time through, knowing that you didn't earn it. The fun, looking back on it, was the entirety of the game.
The random side quests.
The middle part. This fundraising is a process friends. Trust it. Take your time. Take deep breaths. Ask for help. Fundraise with confidence. Tell your story humbly Time to be that fundraising badass you were born to be.
However, the clock, though seemingly taking it’s sweet time, is running.
Time to get moving when others are slowing down. Time to Press Start.
Need help? You know I've got you. From helping your board fundraise, your special events eclipse that 6-figure mark, or just creating your plan for the year? That's what we do.