Few people will disagree with the notion that their advancement team could be more productive in some way(s).
“I know we need to, and could, raise more money,” they will say. Or, “I agree that our donor communications and stewardship could be more consistent,” they will acquiesce.
But, most people resoundingly disagree with the notion that they need to change in order to help the team become more productive.
“Yes, we could raise more money, but our prospect research data is not the problem,” (said to me by a prospect researcher). Or, “Yes, our donor communications and stewardship could be better, but our newsletter always highlights donors,” (said to me by the team member responsible for development communications).
Whenever we find ourselves struggling or resisting a leader, especially a new leader, asking us to change a process, a procedure, a way of working, a way of thinking – anything – we should earnestly ask ourselves 2 questions:
- Will the change being requested encourage our team to work more consistently and effectively on the fundamentals of advancing our mission?
- In general, would I be more accepting of the requested change if my work, my lifestyle, my role, etc., wasn’t being impacted?
If, when we look ourselves in the mirror each morning, we answer both of these questions with a quiet but affirming voice, it might be a good time to remind ourselves why we chose advancement as a career in the first place.
This article was originally posted on Jason’s Blog in January 2024. To read more, visit www.jasonmcneal.com.