Fundraise Awesomer! A Practical Guide to Staying Sane While Doing Good w/ Patrick Kirby

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October 5, 2022

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Are you juggling 10,000 things every day for your nonprofit? Wish you could instead focus on building awesome relationships with supporters and donors, rather than filling your day with “other duties as assigned"?

​In this 1-hour webinar with Patrick Kirby, Founder of Do Good Better Consulting, we’ll help nonprofit leaders get clarity on what's important and simplify the work to make the job of fundraising as awesome as it can be.

​Join Patrick as he shares “The 5 Day Fundraising Framework”, a simple and easy-to-understand framework to organize your fundraising life. One thing. Once a day. 5 Days a week.

By the end of this one-hour workshop, you’ll learn:

  • ​How to think differently about organizing your time at work
  • ​Tricks to planning the highest priority meetings
  • ​Doing rather than waiting until perfection
  • ​Documenting important donor information
  • ​The importance of celebrating with your supporters & team
  • ​Reminders on how appreciation is key to donor retention

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Patrick Kirby is the Founder of Do Good Better Consulting, author of the Amazon best seller Fundraise Awesomer! A Practical Guide to Staying Sane While Doing Good, host of The Official Do Good Better Podcast, and a believer that “we’ve always done it this way” is the most dangerous phrase in the English language.

​Patrick has spent nearly 2 decades working as a fundraiser in the nonprofit industry, for organizations of all shapes and sizes, most notably as the Senior Director of Development at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Minneapolis, MN and the Chief Development Officer at the Anne Carlsen Center, based in Jamestown, ND.

​He earned his B.A. in “B.S.” (politics) at Loras College in Dubuque, IA, and is hopelessly addicted to super nerdy Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels and old school Nintendo games. Patrick married out of his league to his wife Shannon, has three ridiculously adorable children named Spencer, Preston and Willow, a puppy named Calvin, and lives in West Fargo, ND.

Instrumentl Partner Webinars are collaborations between Instrumentl and its community partners to provide free educational workshops for grant professionals. Our goal is to tackle a problem grant professionals often have to solve, while also sharing different ways Instrumentl’s platform can help grant writers win more grants. Click here to save a seat in our next workshop.

Click the video link below to start watching the replay of this free grant workshop, or check out the transcriptions below the video.

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Fundraise Awesomer! A Practical Guide to Staying Sane While Doing Good w/ Patrick Kirby - Grant Training Transcription

Celia:  All right. Great. Hello everyone, and welcome to Fundraise Awesomer, A Practical Guide to Staying Sane While Doing Good with Patrick Kirby. This workshop is being recorded, and we will send out slides afterwards and the recording as well. So, just definitely keep your eyes out for a follow-up email for me.

If you have questions, we are going to be collecting questions all throughout the presentation. So, you can drop those in the chat at any time. If you're not familiar with the chat, if you just kind of scroll over your window, a little kind of bar at the bottom will pop up and you can hit that chat button. Just add three hashtags before your question. It'll just help me see them, make sure we don't miss your question. 

If this is your first time here, this is a free grant workshop. It's one of our Instrumentl partner webinars. And essentially, these are collaborations between us, Instrumentl, and our community partners in order to provide free educational information for grant professionals and non-profits. 

So, our goal with these workshops is very similar to our overarching goal as an organization. And that's really about supporting grant writers and non-profits in order to give them the tools and the insights that they need to find more funding with less work, right, to be able to kind of take back your time while still pushing your organization forward. 

So, what does that mean? I'm just quickly going to talk to you a little bit about Instrumentl and then we're going to hop into how to structure your week in case you're not familiar with us. But essentially, we love efficiency. And what Instrumentl does, we bring grant prospecting, tracking, and management all into one place under one roof. And that results in saving folks as much as three hours a week on their grant process while still increasing their output by as much as 78% in the first year. So, how do we do that? Right? 

First, I say the first kind of piece to our platform is helping people find good fit funders. We have over 12,000 active grants on the platform. So if you find it on the platform, it is available to be applied for. None of this is sort of running back and forth to try to figure that out. 

Once you set up your project, our unique matching algorithm is going to be working in the background for you 24/7. It's like having a personal assistant. Right? So, they're going to send you weekly updates on deadlines. They're going to send you new opportunities as those pop up so you never miss anything. 

But, of course, finding things is only part of the battle, right? Once you find it, in my experience, that evaluation and prioritization is really the time suck piece, right? And so, some people do love the 990s. I’d love to hear about it in the chat if you love the 990, which is full of good information. But then you’ve got to kind of make sense of it, right? So instead, we're using some modern tools, visualization tools to really simplify those trends. You can see some examples of that on the screen. We've got a kind of median giving average. Over multiple years, we can get a really good sense of who this organization is. We can see the geographical kind of focus of a funder, and then we can also see a kind of competition. How open are they to new funders versus potentially repeat funders?

And then beyond that, right, we need to be able to communicate this information with our team. Maybe that's the piece that you're finding trouble with, whether that's other people on the grand scheme, if you're a big enough organization for that or your executive director or even your board, being able to keep all that information in one place and communicate is so important. So things like assigning tasks quickly, adding notes, storing documents, and templates. And all of that is alongside all of the RFP and funder information. So, you have everything you need there. And then finally, our goal is to make tracking and managing grants way less stressful. So, we've done all the hard work to get the grant. And now we’ve got to deal with reporting. 

So, these tools are really allowing us to kind of visualize everything that we're working on, whether that's in a list view and you can kind of see in this back picture, or in a calendar view where I can really visualize what's coming up, how much time do I have to work on this, so that we can do some reporting and quickly show our board or director what exactly is going on. So, that is just a couple of things about Instrumentl. 

If you're interested to learn more, I highly suggest you grab 14 days free. This is a fantastic way to just kind of poke around. If you're interested, you can use that 14 days free to get your own list of good fit funders. And then maybe you work that into part of what Patrick is going to talk about today in terms of your kind of process there. So, that is a link which will give you 14 days free. And that's actually going to give you 14 days on our standard plan, which has some cool extra features. So, I don't want to take up any more time. But I am going to-- oh yeah, these are some of the new features that you all would access. 

So, I am going to go ahead and we're going to get started here. So with all that housekeeping out of the way, I think it's time to talk about how we fundraise with less stress. Patrick has got a really great presentation for us today that I am so excited to hear. So remember, we are accepting questions. Drop them in the chat. But, yeah, I'm excited to introduce Patrick Kirby. He is the founder of Do Good Better Consulting. And he is author of the Amazon bestseller Fundraise Awesomer! A Practical Guide To Staying Sane While Doing Good, which is the name of this presentation as well. He is also the host of the official Do Good Better Podcast, which is a fantastic podcast. If you haven't heard of it, you should check it out. And a believer that we've always done it right, or we've always done it this way is maybe the most dangerous phrase in the English language. 

Patrick has spent nearly two decades working as a fundraiser in the non-profit industry for organizations from all shapes and sizes. Most notably as the Senior Director of Development at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Minneapolis. I know there was someone else here from Minnesota. And as the Chief Development Officer at the Anne Carlsen Center based in Jamestown, North Dakota. I'm sorry, I can't speak today for some reason. Patrick also has his BA and BS politics at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. And now he lives in West Fargo, North Dakota where he spends his free time between sci-fi and fantasy novels, playing old Nintendo games, and enjoying time with his wife, three kids and puppy. 

So, we are so excited to have you today, Patrick. I am going to pass it over to you.

Patrick:  Awesome. Hi, friends. How are you? This is going to be fantastic. I’ve got to first thank Celia, and everybody else for having me here. 

I love meeting new people and I love--I'm going to say hi to everybody in the chat. I swear we'll get to that. It's going to be fun. A lot of you, when you kind of introduced yourself, said a couple of things that are really interesting. We're too small and make a difference. We're too small. “I don't have enough time to do stuff.” “I'm over tapping my donors.” “I've got too much to do. Not enough time.” That's what we're going to talk about today. 

This is kind of my passion. I've been doing it for nearly 20 years. One of my favourite things in the entire world is talking nerdy in fundraising things. If you have any questions in the chat, please put them in there. We're going to try to get to as many things as possible. I talk at a rapid rate. Not because I want to get through it, I just get really excited about it. And I've been drinking caffeine since about 4:30 this morning, because I'm really excited about talking to you all today. 

So, we're going to start. I'm going to--you already got the intro. Which, by the way, if you haven't had an intro done when you stand there and listen to somebody talk about you, it's still weird. It never gets old, like just getting bizarre in the first place. 

I'm super excited. And if you get this meme, we can be best friends. I'm excited because I struggled as a fundraiser and as an executive trying to figure out how to do the 10,000 things on your plate every single day and still manage expectations with your donors. That's what we got. And the age-old question of “What the hell do I do first?” is something that we talk about all the time. I chat with it every single day to multiple people. And what you're going to learn today is a practical thing that you can do every single day, just one day a week to make your life a lot better so you can do the things you really want to do, which is make better relationships with your donors. That's it. 

I want to give you permission to grant yourself some grace. None of us have been prepared for fundraising. Every one of us are accidental fundraisers. There's no bachelor of arts degree in annual giving. There's no random degree on how to pick up the phone and make a donor connection and have a coffee and not be weird. Nobody teaches us this. We have to do it by ourselves.

And so, how? It’s going to be awesome. So, we're going to go through a whole bunch of things. Hey, hold my beer. I got you covered today. Don't you worry. I'm going to make this life a lot easier for you. 

Two things before we get started. Number one, a lot of you in the chat don't think there's enough money for you or you're not big enough to make a splash? Yes, you do. I want to say off the top of the bat what you do is amazing. And you as a non-profit leader and you as a fundraiser are doing the things that the government won't and can't do. Period. 

You're the gap filling machines that make our community awesome. So, I want to make sure that you have in the back of your brain an abundance mindset. Not “I don't have the capacity to get more money.” No you do. Not that “Oh, I don't really deserve it. There's a lot of other organizations that deserve it.” No, you do. You have to get that through your brain. No donor wants to go and be sort of supporting a sob story like, “I don't really know if I'm good enough.” Yeah, you are. It's awesome. 

Abundance mindset is number one. So if you don't have that, you shouldn't be fundraising. If you do have that, good. I got some good news for you because we're going to change your brain on how we're going to do fundraising, which is this. We're going to go from transactional to transformative conversation today. What I mean by a transaction is like, “Hey, I’d like some money,” and people give you money and then you say thanks and you move on. It's not the kind of fundraising we're talking about. It's not the kind of relationship building we're talking about. We're talking about true transformative relationships in the vein of “I believe in your organization so much that when I die, I'm going to give you 20% of what I have.” That kind of love, right? 

And we do that through alignment. We do that because we pick and choose and find the people who love us the most. And we lean on them to tell the stories as well. Because we don't want just odd gifts, we want a lot of gifts. We want people to cheer on our behalf too. Right? So, that's brain power, right? You deserve money because you do awesome things. And we're going to move our way away from getting like, I don't know, a couple of gifts and saying thanks too. We're going to build a bridge that I'm going to introduce you to so many people because I love you as much as you love me. 

Make sense? Got this? Are we okay with our brains? Give me a thumbs up in the chat if you are. Okay, we're good. Yeah. We're good. Okay.

This presentation is going to blow your mind because, A, it's so simple. And we don't do it a lot. And that's totally okay. All right? So, what we want to do is we want to simplify the complicated things in our life, right? We wake up and we--here's the other thing too. We go to presentations like this all the time. We go to conferences, right? And we get motivated by somebody who's really energetic and a really good speaker. And it's like, “Oh, I've got some good points. That's great!” And we go back to our desk and we open up our Outlook, and nothing that we learned has anything to do with what's in our inbox because it's on fire all the time. And we forget about it. Not today. Not today. No, no. 

Most of us are fundraisers. And most of us do other duties as assigned that don't involve fundraising, right? You’ve got to write an email. You’ve got to write social media posts. You've got to do X, Y, and Z. “Hey, can you help bring boxes down?” “Hey, can you help with this?” “Hey, somebody didn't show up for work.” You're doing all the things that don't give you joy, first of all, and the things that aren't building relationships. And today that changes too. We're going to give you permission to do that. 

Most of you, like me, when I first started, I had no idea what the hell I'm doing. And here's, by the way, none of us do. We're working this out in real time, right? We're doing the things that we think are great. And we're having conversations with awesome people. But nobody really knows how to do fundraising. So, let's build a system together that makes sense. Okay? So a couple years ago, I was training an organization and I was sort of implementing this strategy that I use myself. I was putting it out there for the world to see. And the CEO said, “You should probably write a book about that.” So, I did. I wrote it. It's Fundraise Awesomer. If I understand it very well, and I'm not on sales per book, I just want to say it like I put it down on paper and this seems to be going pretty well. 

So, I want to teach this to you today. So even if you don't get this book, I'm going to give you the cliff notes version on what you're going to be able to do at the end of this is going to have a roadmap to success to carve out some time for you. 

And the reason that works is because we do one thing a day for 20 minutes a day every single day of the week, except for the weekends, which are yours and you shouldn't be working on the weekends because that's your refresh time. And we know how overworked you are. Got it? So Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. And it goes like this. Okay? It's a prank. It's a five-day framework. I'm not a creative person. Okay? Mondays are for planning. Tuesdays are for doing. Wednesdays are for documenting. Thursdays are for celebrating. And Fridays are for appreciating. One thing a day, every day of the week, 20 minutes a day, 40 minutes a day, 4 hours a day, whatever that takes. Okay? This is your framework on how to arrange your life as a fundraiser. 

Now, why this? Right? Wake up on Monday, you go to the office, you got chaos in your inbox already. You want to plan the two or three things that you need to get done. What is your priority? Make sure you've got a plan to get that done. Tuesdays, which are the most productive day of the week, and I can't prove this scientifically. I just know it's true. You do. You execute. You go have a meeting. You go get it. Right? You go out. You make an ask. You make a solicitation. You make a phone call. Whatever that is, you do. 

Wednesdays are for documenting. After you have all these awesome conversations, they’re in your head. Now, what do you do with them? Right? Get them on paper. Get them in a CRM. Get them on a cocktail napkin. I don't really care. Get it out of your brain. Because the thing that we think we have as a superpower is remembering stuff, ask my wife, I don't remember anything. She'll tell you straight up. 

Thursdays are for celebrating. The reason I think that non-profit struggle is they don't remind themselves of the great things that they do. And they don't tell their donors what amazing things they do because they think it's bragging. For some reason, we think this is like, “Oh, I don't want to brag. No, no, no. We’re doing fine.” Donors want to be associated with winners. And winners get to go and tell people where their money went, right? We celebrate. We lift up. And we end the week with appreciation. We end the week with gratitude. And we write handwritten, thank you notes. We make handwritten emails--we do phone calls and meetings just to say thanks. 

And by the time we make phone calls and by the time we plan on meeting with donors on Monday, the last thing that they remember is that handwritten thank you note. And do you think they're going to pick up the phone a little more effectively and a little more aggressively when you call if the last thing that they said or heard from you is a thank you? The answer is yeah. Yeah, they are. Right? 

Planning, doing, documenting, celebrating, appreciating. This is it. We're going to go through. Every one of these days, we're going to give you tips and tricks on each one of those. If you've got questions, drop them in. Does this make sense so far? Does this kind of get you jazzed up? I need a thumbs up. Even in that thing, you can do that. But I like it in the chat because then it makes us feel awesome, right? 

Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, planning, doing, documenting, celebrating, and appreciating. Go! Does this make sense? Good. Okay. All right. Here we go. Are you ready for some details? I know you are. 

Planning. Listen, we got to plan on Mondays, for goodness sake. My goodness! We wake up and then all of a sudden, we're looking at our schedule like, “How in hell am I going to get any of this done?” This is where the planning process really starts. And it's the most effective thing to do on Mondays, right? Nobody's answering the phone on Mondays because they, too, are digging themselves out from whatever random this is in their inbox. Right? So, that's why we start with planning on Mondays. I'm going to give you a couple of examples for this, right? But we can do stand-up meetings. We can confirm all of our material prep for meetings that we have, confirming donor meetings later in the week, doing any logistics. 

Here's the bit, anything that you can do to prepare for all hell to break loose, plan that. And what's the two things that you have to get done? What's the one thing you have to get done, but most more than anything else? That's what we plan for. Make sense? Okay. Here's a couple of examples. I like stand-up meetings. Thumbs up in the chat if you have a stand up meeting with your staff or your board members every single week. If you do, give me a thumbs up and I'm going to mark you as heroes for the week. And if you don't, it's a really good opportunity to do a couple of things. One, declare what you're doing for the week. You're almost manifesting. I've read the secret. Don't you think I didn't. Right? You're manifesting where you're going to go and what you're going to do. But you're also alerting everybody to who you're meeting with and what you're talking about. So, you can ping ideas back and forth like, “Hey, what do we know about this donor? What's the last thing we talked about? What is that?” 

You also tell your team where you're going. Or you also explain what you're doing, which means nobody's going to be questioning it. Yeah. Yeah, stand-up meetings in COVID. Yeah, yeah, you can do them over Zoom. It’s totally fine. It’s just like this. I'm going on and meeting with these two donors. I'm going to talk about this. We're going to try to work on that. They could then chime in and say, “Hey, have you thought about this?” Julia, stand-up meeting is just 5 minutes, 10 minutes to talk about where you're going and what you're doing. Right? That's all it is. Do this every week. And that's part of your plan. 

And then you get to have all the feedback and the material from your teammates or anybody else that works with you or your volunteers. Okay, great. This makes sense. Okay? 

Another example, and this is, I like these memes. I should always make the memes happen earlier, right? I should. It's basically preparing for all hell to break loose, right? You just want to get things done. And you can't get distracted by that. You have a grant deal? Get it done. Work around every single thing you do on Mondays in order to clear your schedule so that you can do the things that you have to get done on a Monday, right? That's it. 

It changes the dynamic of your week because you're already saying out loud what you're going to get done and you're also making sure that everybody else is holding you accountable to get that kind of stuff done. Right? And the reason you do that is because you know damn well that some fire is going to break out and you're going to get sick, or your kid is going to get sick, or your co-workers’ kids are going to get sick, or a random--whatever happens, natural disasters and everything. What are you doing to plan that? Okay? Mondays are for planning. Take 20 minutes, sit down, stand up, write it down. What are you getting done on a Monday? Make sense so far? 

If you want to make sure you get your planning done, what are your priorities? Write them down. Put them on the big board. Put them on a whiteboard. I don't care how you do it. Okay?

Tuesdays are for doing. We've already planned things. Planning to plan the plan for plan sake so you can plan another plan so that your plans are planned. Does it help you raise money? Get out of there and do stuff. Make asks. Get active. Do field activity. Whatever that is, Tuesdays are for doing. Donor visits, donor ask, sponsor solicitation. Whatever the heck it is, do it. Anything to move the needle forward, you do. Any action. Right? Go have a coffee, pick up the phone, send a text message. I don't care what it is you execute. And the reason is you want to get to know all these awesome people that you have planned on meeting. Now you’ve got to get it done. Okay? 

So, talk about a couple of things, donors ask. A lot of people say, “How do we make an ask?” One of the big things like, “Hey, I don't even know where to start. What do I say in a donor meeting?” I'm going to give you this, right? You can write this down and you can request the replay. Go get on Instrumentl. Go get this 14-day plan and then you can go get all the stuff, right? Here's the thing. Invite them to help you reach a goal. Okay? 

You're sitting across from somebody having a cup of coffee, stating what you need and how they can help. But do it in this way. “Patricia, I see you on this call. Hi, how are you? Thanks for having coffee with me, Patricia. I'm really excited to meet with you. Here's what we got going on. The amount of money that we need to raise in order to make the impact in our community is about $10,000. Is that something that you would be interested in helping us achieve?” That sounds a lot different than, “Patricia, I need $10,000.” Because nobody wants to give you $10,000 like that. Everybody wants to be invited to help with the solution. They self-identify at what level. And you don't feel like those creepy guys that sit there and try to hard sell you in a pyramid scheme, marketing, whatever the heck you get into, right? Does that make sense? 

Here's the goal. Here's what that's going to do. The amount of money that that's going to do is going to help this many people in our community. Is that something that you'd be interested in helping us accomplish? Is this something you'd be interested in helping us achieve? That's an ask. Okay? It's an ask, but it's an invitation. That's a lot better as a soft approach to making asks. Guess what? You did it on a Tuesday. 

Now you're asking questions of the donor. “Hey, tell me a little bit about yourself.” Okay? Tell me what you like, “Hey, I love this. Why did you get involved with us in the first place? What are you doing? How are you gaining this information in order for you to not only justify and ask, but to align yourself with people who love what you do?” Tuesdays are for doing. 

And you don't even need to ask them for money all the time. In fact, you can ask them to “Hey, volunteer. Can I have another meeting with you?” They're not ready to ask? It doesn't matter. Meet with them. Talk with them. Ask them questions. Okay? Invite them back. 

Sponsorship, solicitation. That's an easy one. Right? Yeah. Make an intro. Yeah, absolutely. Sponsor, hey, we got a golf tournament coming up. I’m trying to raise $30,000. We know your business has been a part of this community a long time. We'd love you to be a part of this organization. Is that something you'd be interested in doing? Great. Do it on a Tuesday. That sounds awesome. 

And I feel like if the more you go out and the more you ask questions, the better you're going to be armed. Because you know your donors better every single time you do that. Tuesdays are for doing, okay? Remember, any action to move the needle forward from a fundraising or a relationship style, that's what we do on Tuesdays. Okay? 

Mondays are for planning. Who are we meeting with? List them out. Tuesdays are for doing. We're going to leave our office. We can't fundraise from behind our desks all the time. And we can't just email people. We can't do it. Pick up the phone, go meet him for coffee if you're comfortable with it. Hop on a Zoom call, wherever that is, do not sit behind and try to wait for people to show up. It's not going to work. Okay? Tuesdays are for doing. Okay? Does it make sense? Thumbs up, makes sense. Monday planning. Tuesday. Give me one. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay.

Documenting. This is notoriously not the sexiest day of the week. And yet, arguably more important. Okay? We’ve got to do research and we’ve got to get everything out of our heads into whatever we're going to remind ourselves of what we just heard. Let me ask you a question in the chat. You can answer this as we sort of move on. I asked a donor, “Hey, how was your vacation?” While I'm doing my meeting, right? She says, “Great. Just got back from vacation. Every year we do this and I hate--it's just an exhausting proposition. But every year, we bring all the kids and the grandkids down to Disneyland, Disney World for a week. It's pure chaos. I wouldn't have it any other way. It's awesome. Glad to be back though.” 

What did you just learn from that donor? Loves his kids, loves his family, has the ability to travel at a week's notice. Has a crapload of money. You know it costs to go to Disney World? My God in heaven! Bringing all the kids down? Right? That's a boatload of money he's got sitting on. Remember that. Right? Remember that the next time you have a gala, or whatever, you've got a Disney World trip? Hey, Phil, you might want to show up and might get a cheaper one at our gala than you would be paying for it. Right? Okay? 

So, these are the things you have to get out. The things you want to document are anything you have from previous donor visits, a connection mapping exercise. Who do they know? Right? Who did I talk with? Or who did they mention that I should maybe connect the dots with? Donor analytics? Right? We'll talk about that in a second. And then what's your next step with that donor? Write it down. You're going to call them in two weeks. Did you say that? Write it down. Document it. You're going to send him a thank you note? Good, document it. When did you do it? You're going to call him again. You're going to meet with him again. What's your next move? Whatever that is, document everything on Wednesdays, right? We planned on doing it. We executed it. Now, we’ve got to get it on paper because Wednesday's are for documenting. Okay?

One of the things that we want to do is make sure that we are taking those little nuggets of information that we have internally. Oh, man, that was a really--that was a really good little nugget of info that I am going to keep in store. The better questions we ask, the better answers we get, the more relatable we become to our donors because we're listening and we're asking for things that are not necessarily money only. We're getting to know them as a person. Right? 

Donating is personal, everybody. Right? It's not a business decision on most occasions. Most people don't give because of tax credits, anyway. Most people don't. It's at the bottom of the list. It's affinity and I feel like I have to make an impact on an organization. That's what this is about. Make sure that you are documenting everything that you learned about your donors every single week. 

We only have 20 minutes. But guess what? You only need 20 minutes. Okay? Document everything. And it doesn't matter if there's a lot of notes or very few notes. Everything helps build a story on where they are and how they can help your organization be awesome.

Connection mapping is really important. Did they mention somebody that they work with or they’re related to or who might have an affinity for your organization? Someone mentioned in the chat, “Hey, do you have anybody else who would really like what we do?” Yeah. Jerry and Christine would really like this. I'll set you up. Okay? Now you're doing research on all of those things in the background. Okay? And because you asked them that question and because you now know that, you can now build your next meeting or whomever you're reaching out to because you documented your activities with your donors. Okay? Really, really, really, really important to do. 

This is a good example of what my brain looks like, number one. And number two, this is connection mapping at its finest. Right? Have you ever watched one of those how-to-catch-a-killer movies? You're all watching Dahmer on Netflix, anyway. I know you are. Right? I should have put this thing out. Yeah, everyone is going to watch a movie. That's a good reference that will hopefully stand the test of time and replay. 

But this is how you do it. Right? You want to get to the center. Right? Who's the center and sphere of influence? Ask your donors. Who do they know? Right? Who's in the periphery here? Okay, make sure you do that.

Donor analytics. Find a program. Put together a game plan. Get something like Instrumentl to do your research on both grants and individuals. Find something that you can use that's going to make your decision tree and your connections to who you need to ask a lot easier for you. Do not go with this alone. The first video game I ever played was Legend of Zelda, right? You go and get a sword. What's the wizard say? It's dangerous to go alone. Yeah, you're right, it is. Find somebody and find an organization or find something online, like Instrumentl, that's going to help you navigate the very cloudy amount of information out there to clarify where you should spend your time. Okay? 

Find yourself in the donor analytics position where you can say, “Okay, if I'm going to have 12 hours in the week to do this, am I going to best spend it doing hours and hours and hours of research and trying to Google my way out of it? Or am I going to have a fancy pants piece of software that I get to try for 14 days because we got a sweet little deal here today? And I get to try that out myself.” Okay? Make sense? Get yourself some analytics, right? 

Wednesdays are for documenting. Right? We've planned on Mondays. We've executed on Tuesdays. We've taken all that cranial knowledge in our brain and we put it into a CRM or a cocktail napkin, right? Does it make sense so far? Are you tracking? Everybody? Thumbs up if you like this. Right? 20 minutes a day. Does it make sense? Can you do this? Yeah? Yeah, yeah, yeah?

We are horrible in the nonprofit world about saying how awesome we did. Stop it! I'll give you an example. I'm a Vikings fan. This is for NFL people. I'm a Vikings fan and we are terrible. Always. Never won a Super Bowl. We suck. My wife is a Packers fan. They win all the time. And that's not fair. I have my kid who tried to be a Vikings fan because I want to teach him about how disappointment works in life. And he, for a long time, was a Patriots fan. Why? Because they had Tom Brady win all the games. I want to cheer for a winning team, not a loser team like the Vikings. That's fair. Sad, but it's fair. 

Your donors do not want to give to a sinking ship. They want to know their money is being used the way that they wanted it to be used. And the only way they get to do that is that you tell them how awesome you do. It's not bragging. This is celebrating wins. We serve this many kids. We help this many individuals. We rescue these many animals. That's not bragging. That's just showing that you're using everybody's donation in the best possible way. And we need to start doing that a little bit better. And guess what? You can celebrate with everybody. Donors, businesses, volunteers, your staff and your board members. 

Hey, did you know that you can celebrate other organization’s wins and they are not going to get mad at you and your board is not going to get mad at you for doing that? Yeah, you can do that. You can lift up others in the community. That's what you should be doing. You should be the one that is the biggest cheerleader in the world because people want to associate themselves with you because you've got this great energy and this great vibe. 

Celebrate your success with your donors. If you don't, they're going to forget about you, number one. And they're not going to think that you're doing the things that they want you to do because you're not being communicative enough. Okay? Communicate your wins. You don't have to say, “Nanana boo boo. I did all these awesome things.” You don't have to do that. Don't be silly. But you’ve got to say, “With your help, we got to do this. And look at what amazing things that we accomplished with your help. Look at what this amazing gift did for our organization and our programs.” Yeah, celebrate all the time. 

If you don't have the time, celebrate on Thursdays because Thursdays are for celebrating. 20 minutes a day, send out a note. Right? Okay? Celebrate your successes with businesses. Right? Businesses don't want to be latched on to groups that just don't know where they're going or if they're financially in trouble. No, no, they want to be associated with things that are making a difference. Right? It's easy to go to a business and say, “Hey, your sponsorship for the golf tournament did this. It helped this many kids. I'd like to introduce you to somebody and that'd be great. Business cat tells you to do that. Business cat wants you to celebrate. He's reading it in the paper. Not reading it from this note that you sent no. No. Don't make him find out in the Daily News. No, no. Tell him. 

If you are not celebrating with your board members, you're missing an opportunity not only to communicate with your board members about something different and new, but it's a really good opportunity to kind of connect with them and talk with them about something that's not boring board things. And so, it really gives you an excuse to call them too, which is really kind of nice. Okay? 

Celebrate successes with donors, businesses, volunteers, anybody else, whatever you can do on a Thursday because Thursdays are celebrating. And we need to do more of that. Okay? 20 minutes a day. We plan on Mondays, we do on Tuesdays, we document all the things on Wednesdays, we celebrate on Thursdays. And where does that lead us? Fridays are for appreciating. 

Now, I want you to take one moment and read this out loud in your best Sean Connery voice. And if you're too young to know who Sean Connery is, start watching James Bond immediately back in the 70s and 60s. Thank shallot. That's a funny meme. 

Fridays are for appreciating. If you do nothing else, if you leave with nothing here, write five handwritten thank you notes a week, every single week. Okay? Every week, five. I don't care if they're to donors or people in your community, just do that. Think about how--I'm bad at math. But I know that's a crapload of thank you notes if you do that every single week. And it's going to make you the most grateful human being and organization in town. 

You want to be different from everybody else? Write thank you notes, handwritten thank you notes. What do you open up first? Handwritten thank yous. Thank you calls, thank you visits, thank you social media posts, random acts of appreciation, which I'd like you to do right now. I want everybody while we're on this call, okay? Okay? Get out this giant supercomputer in your pocket. Everybody. If you're on here, I want to see you raise your cell phone now. I want you to open up your text message app and I want you to scroll to the 20th random person in your text message list. Okay? Right now. We're all doing this together. Come on! 

I want you to open up the 20th. If it's a Verizon bill, please ignore that. Go to the 21st. I don't care. I want you to right now in the next 30 seconds write a genuine note of gratitude towards that person. How much you love them, how much they've made a difference in your life, how much you have grown because of them, what they mean to you, be as authentic as possible and send it right now. I'm going to talk over while you type this, a genuine note of appreciation to that random person 20 lines down on your cell phone. 

Now, what's going to happen when you click send? And do click send when you're done. Okay? Two responses they're going to go through their brain. Number one, “Holy crap, is everything okay?” That’s number one. Or, “What do you want?” Those are the two things. Right? Because--oh, yeah, Susan got her largest donor. Heck, yes. Go! It's a sign. Go! 

Here's what this is going to do. It's random. Nobody expects it's out of the blue and the responses are going to be glorious. And we're going to actually have you type the responses in a minute, in a minute, once that comes back, because they will. Okay? Coworker. Right? Type it, send it. Okay? 

The reason this is funny to me is because we don't do this enough, and we really should. We as nonprofit leaders need to be a better steward of gratitude and not just the people who write us checks. Okay? Handwritten thank you notes. Again, what's the first thing you open up when you get the mail? The little square or rectangle card with a handwritten note on. Everybody opens that one up first. You know what your Verizon bill is. You know what your water bill is. Gross. I don't want to open that up. No. You open up your thank you notes. And we don't do this enough.

And I know for a lot of you, you write thank you notes. Yeah, you should. Do you ever write thank you notes randomly to individuals who didn't give you $1? If you don't say thank you to your donors, they're not going to give you money. That's basic. If you don't write thank you notes for just being a part of your organization to your volunteers, to random individuals who make a difference at your organization, you're missing the boat and an opportunity to make yourself another donor friend in the community. It doesn't have to be your donors. 

In fact, when you ask people all over the place, “When do you give money?” “Well, after we figured out what they do.” And if you only ask your donors for money, if you only say thank you after their money, they're going to stop giving to you. Right? If you only pick up the phone to ask them for money, they're going to stop picking up the phone. Random acts and in between gift thank you notes for being a part of Team Awesome, that's you. That's you! That's what you need to start doing. Okay? Random.

Thank you for your phone calls. By the way, this supercomputer that you just sent a text message to was invented as a phone. I don't know if you know this. Not just for TikTok. You've wasted so many hours on TikTok? I know you have. I know you have. Come pick up the phone and say thank you to--it's just for TikTok? Yeah, I’m actually right. That's super true. 

You can pick up the phone. What's old is new again. If you ever picked up the phone and somebody says--you think it's a solicitor and it's not, you're always shocked. Imagine the surprise when you call a donor just to say thanks for their support. You don't ask them for a dime. They're going to be confused and they're going to be grateful for your gratitude. And they're going to thank you for the thank you call. And then they'll probably write you a thank you note for the thank you call and all of a sudden you're in this loop in this meta universe of thanking people for thanking you. Oh, that's the best world to be in. Pick up the phone and say thank you. Okay? It means a lot to the donors. That means that you're not forever asking for money. You're just being grateful for them being a part of the team and making your life a lot better. Okay? 

Random acts of appreciation. This is what's going to differentiate you in your organization from everybody else out there. Okay? I know we had a little text message thing. Okay? Which is what I want you to do right now, is that I want you to give the responses of the people who text you back immediately. Right? Or just now texting you back. I want you to put that in the comments on what people say. Or what did you send either way, okay? Because I want everybody to look in the chat and I want you to take notes on what people are saying and how they're saying it and to whom they're saying it to. Okay? 

This is the real power in having the time that you've carved out every week so that you can legitimately make sure that you can do this, this activity, these thank you notes. Okay? What did you type? What did you send? And what's the response so far? I want everybody to see this. Because the power in this random act of amazing things, right, is that you're not constantly soliciting. I will tell you a little story, my brother-in-law, God bless him, every time he picks up the phone, he needs something. To the point where I can go, “What do you need?” “Well, I don’t need anything. I just want to say hi.” Liar! You're a liar. And after a little bit of chat, he'll go, “Hey, can you do this?” I’m like, “Ah, I knew it.” Don't let your donors do that. Okay? 

Look, I just want to let you know, I'm grateful for you. Thank you. You're the best. Love you too. Right? These are the notes that people are just getting. And they're trying to figure out what their response is going to be. You've made their day regardless. This is where we want to live in our fundraising world. We want enough time to do that, and which is why we have this framework today, because it allows us to end the week with gratitude. Because the minute you pick up the phone to try to plan everything else on a Monday, this is the last thing that they remember from you and your organization. Thanks, love you. Thanks for being a part of this. Thanks for being a good leader. 

Say hi to a politician, say hi to a community leader, say hi to another organization or a business leader that's done something nice for you. This does not have to be just random in your text message. It can be random in the act itself. There's power in this. And if you're using an analytical tool to kind of connect the dots on who you should be chatting with and you're just striking up a conversation and the relationship, this is it. Right? This is how you do it. 

Mondays are for planning, Tuesdays are for doing, Wednesdays are for documenting, Thursdays are for celebrating, and Fridays are for appreciating. It's five days. Saturdays and Sundays are for you. Right? That's it. Okay? Planning, doing, documenting, celebrating, appreciating. Do this every day of the week. Just one thing. Every day of the week in 20 minutes, 40 minutes, 2 hours. I don't care. Carve out the time to move the needle forward. So at the end of the week, you can look back and go, “Holy crap, I did a lot there.” We did some good work. I move the needle forward. I avoided the mass chaos that I knew was going to happen. Okay? 

Does that make sense? Do you like this framework? Can you wrap your brain around why we do the things that we're doing here? Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Thursdays. Does this clarify at least something that you can get accomplished in the whole thing? I hope it does. 

It's worked for a lot of folks. I've been teaching this for a very long time. And it's one of my favourite things to talk about because it gives you a roadmap. You don't have to figure it out anymore. You got it right there. Right? You got it right there. 

I want to wrap up a little bit. Number one, everything that you do in your community means a lot. Again, you are doing the things. You're filling the gaps that the government can't and won't do. Without you, your community is a lot worse off. If you close today, if you shut down today, what's that do for those you serve? Not a lot of good. So, make sure that you have donor relationships top of mind in order for you to get fully funded and you have to carve out time to do that. Right? Mondays are planning, Tuesdays are doing, Wednesdays are documenting, Thursdays are celebrating, and Fridays appreciating. I think that works. Right? 

That's me right here. Celia, I'm going to let you take the role because I think that makes sense to me.

Celia:  Awesome.

Patrick:  Yeah. Let’s roll.

Celia:  This is great. Thank you so much. We do have a couple of questions, which we are going to get to in just a second. But I want to just really quickly kind of wrap everything up here. Oops, sorry. So, yeah, if you do have questions, make sure that you drop them in the chat. We will get to those in just two seconds. And then I'm going to walk everybody through a couple of things here before we get to our question. So, first things first, some learning takeaway. 

So, what did we learn today? Well, we talked a lot about the fact that we have a lot to do. But nothing is more important, right, than building donor relationships. So, that was the first thing. The second thing we talked about today was, yeah, you got this. You can do this. So, I think that Patrick believes in you. I believe in you. And with a few steps every day, you can really get there. I think that's definitely our mindset at Instrumentl is that we are sort of all about what are the processes we can put in place right now in order to kind of set ourselves up and create a structure that works for us. 

And then, finally, embrace that random act of appreciation. I'd be really curious to hear as the responses come in. I know I sent my message and nobody's responded to it yet. But I'd be very curious. So, keep us in the loop. Definitely feel free to reach out to Patrick or I with that. I'm sure he would appreciate hearing what your responses to your appreciation were. So, you can get him over here at And let's see what else. 

Yeah. So, we have a couple of things for you all today, a couple of freebies, which is great. One of those things is going to be Patrick's five-week fundraising calendar. It's a bit of a challenge. It's going to kind of go through a lot of what he said today. And also, just give you that framework in a way where you can kind of work through that over the next few weeks here. 

And then the other thing is the 10 best lessons from 10 grant writing experts. So, you definitely want to check those out. You can click that link there to get that. And just as a reminder, you are all eligible to grab 14 days free today. So, if you're interested in Instrumentl, if you're interested in seeing how Instrumentl can kind of help you create a process around grant specifically, definitely check that out or ping me. I'm happy to talk more about it. 

But with that, I think we should probably just jump into questions. What do you think, Patrick?

Patrick:  I love it. Bring them on. Let's go. 

Celia:  Okay. Great. So, we've got a question. I was hoping to identify new funding sources in this Zoom. So, I wonder if anyone has ideas for Cheryl on maybe some additional funding sources or places to maybe look that she hasn't looked before.

Patrick:  Here's a really good idea, Cheryl. Number one, who are your superfans? Number one. Who loves your organization better? 5, 10 people, right? Start there. Don't go and find random people that have no idea who you are. Work with me here. Third-party endorsement is exponentially more important than first party solicitation. You can say that again because it's really important to understand. 

Third-party endorsement is exponentially more important than first party solicitation. We take the opinions of people on Amazon. We don't know that five-star review. Your biggest superfans in your circle are going to be the ones that love you the most. They're going to lead you to other people who are just as diehard as they are. Your friends hang out with people who have like-minded issues. You don't hang out with mortal enemies, do you? Hang out with people because they like you and your morals and your compass and things you like, right? They're going to like your organization. 

Asking them to introduce you to other people is the fastest way to new revenue than trying to blindly throw darts. It doesn't work that way. Right? Again, it's also, yes, third-party endorsement is exponentially more important than first-party solicitation. Your cheerleaders are better suited to introduce you than you are to go seek out. Right? People know you're going to ask for money. They don't expect people who just donate and support you to go, “You know what you should do. Holy buckets! Savannah is really great over here. You need to go talk with her.” Okay. I'm going to take that opinion as gospel rather than like, “Hey, I want to go talk to you about our organization.” Okay, great. I don't necessarily want to. As long as Savannah is saying, “Okay,” I'm in. Make sense? 

Celia:  Awesome. 

Patrick:  Yeah, yeah, yeah? Okay.

Celia:  That made sense to me. I think I'm always a proponent of momentum. We want to sort of--instead of starting flat footed, we kind of want to kind of expand on the things that are working. Right? So, I think that introduction is a great tip there. 

I would also say, check out grant funding on Instrumentl is the other thing that I would say. 

Patrick:  That’s a great one.

Celia:  You could check that out, too. You'll just enter some information on your project, and you'll get your best matches, which is nice. 

And then we had another question about maybe how you would adapt this to a four-day work week. I did see some information, some people in the chat saying, “I'm part-time,” or something like that. So, I wonder if you have any thoughts on how we might adjust this for people who aren't in the office or working five days a week.

Patrick:  Right.

Adjust and combine Thursday, Friday. That's an easy one to do. Celebrate or appreciate. And if you don't, again, you can do multiples of these a day, right? So, you can actually get what you're doing and your documenting would be one day, right? We'll have a meeting and immediately come back and just document everything. That's an easy way to do it. 

And again, this is a framework to work within your own organization. This isn't gospel of like, if I get in on a Wednesday and I'm screwed, I can't do anything. Whatever works for you, right? This should get you to partition this in your brain, right? But it does give you the ability to go, “Okay, what day is it? Did I take a couple of days off? It's a Wednesday. I should document today.” Or, “It's Thursday, what should I do? I should celebrate. I should lift other people up. It’s Friday, I should write a thank you note.” Whatever works best for you, that's the easiest route.

Celia:  Anybody else have other questions? I think that was all of our questions. So unless anybody else has a question, I think we're right at the end of this. And we really appreciate your time, Patrick. This is awesome.

Patrick:  I love it. First of all, thank you so much for having me. Number one. Number two, thanks for partnering up. I think a lot of people don't know where to start. This is the kind of the bit here is like, “Hey, nobody knows where to start.” Get something like an Instrumentl and it's going to give you a roadmap. The same way that this is a roadmap I'm trying to help you get out of this, right, this mess. Don't over complicate your life by starting and trying to Google your way out of this. Find professionals. Go and get them. Do the thing. And it's going to be great. 

Thank you so much for everybody who stopped by. And again, if you've got any questions, email me. I'm happy to sort of hang out. Go find me in Find us on the internet, Do Good University, whatever you want to do. Find me, I will answer your questions. I love doing all this kind of stuff, anyway. And this is really, really fun. So, thank you. 

I hope it helps. Give me the one last--I'm high on the disc score. So, I have to--I thrive on upheaval saying it was really good. So, please, just give a thumbs up like, “Hey, this is awesome,” or not. I’m going to drop my--

Celia:  Or click that freebie link and give us your feedback. And we'll pass it along to Patrick.

Patrick:  Even better. I love it.

Celia:  You can score him, so he can get a quantitative.

Patrick:  I love it. Thank you so much. By the way, thanks, everyone, for stopping by. I know it's a big ask to carve out an hour of your day. Everybody is super busy. We already discussed this. But thanks for hanging out. This was a blast. Thank you.

Celia:  Yeah. And I saw a couple questions. We are going to send everyone the recording. So, just keep an eye out on your email. We're going to send you the recording. We'll send you the slides. You'll have all of that information. I really appreciate this. Keep thinking about systems. Systems, they take time. They take a little bit of work, right? Sometimes you start something and then that's not necessarily how it ends. So, be patient with your process. But think about how you can process these things. And I think Patrick gave us a great framework today. So, thank you so much, Patrick. That was awesome. 

Cool. All right, everybody. Hopefully to see you all again maybe next week. We're going to be talking about how to write a power perspective. So if you're thinking about what you're going to do on Tuesdays, you might want to check it out. Because we are going to talk about some really good tips on how to do that a little bit faster and a little bit more, I don't know, complete. Yeah. 

All right. Thanks, everyone. See you next week. 

Patrick:  Bye again.

Celia:  Bye.

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