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Jun 22, 2024

Donuts and Donations

⚒️Some of you know that Julie and I are selling our current home and downsizing a bit. We're moving to an AirBnb in the final weeks of this chaotic remodeling effort, while our awesome Palestinian contractors complete the finishing touches.  Because of this, the audio versions of these newsletters will be a little hit-and-miss.  I'll record them when I'm away from hammers and saws and let you know when they're available!👷

In the meantime, you can listen to previous recordings by visiting The Breakthru Podcast

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Recently Mike, one of my major gift fundraising friends, finished a meeting with funders and was preparing to head home.  “A nice Top Pot donut sounds good,” he thought, “but no… I shouldn’t”.  Back-and-forth he argued with himself, ultimately deciding (while already walking to Top Pot) that he could justify his guilty pleasure by asking to talk with the manager about the possibility of sponsoring a local charity fundraising event.

“No”, he said, still conflicted about his choice, “I really should do something healthier…”  My friend then looked beyond Top Pot and saw Spuds Fish and Chips.  “That’s it… I’ll grab some fish before getting on the ferry!”

He walked into Spuds and didn’t see anyone ready to take his order. However, there was a guy up on a ladder changing a lightbulb who noticed Mike and said “Hi there - someone will be out to help you in a moment.”

After buying his meal, Mike had a feeling the guy changing the light bulb was more than a contracted handyman.  And he was right!  This guy was the owner of the restaurant.

Fast forward… Spuds Fish and Chips is now a sponsor for Mike’s upcoming fundraising event in the fall. 💃  (In a fun twist, when meeting with the owner of Spuds to further discuss his contribution, there sat a yummy assortment of, you guessed it, Top Pot🍩😋).

Moral of the story?  If you have a craving for donuts…

Is your awareness antenna dialed up?

When Mike heard a “handyman” offering customer service, his curiosity kicked in.  He strolled over to the guy and began making conversation only to discover “the guy” was the owner.  Super low risk and super high return!  That’s the beauty of acute awareness.

How do you keep your awareness antenna tuned up?
📡 Consistently spend time in a quiet space to pray and listen.  What names and faces come to your heart and mind?  I often say something like this, “God, give me eyes to see and ears to hear about who to share this vision with.”  As names come to mind I write them down.  This helps prepare me for the day ahead.  I’m constantly on the lookout for surprise opportunities to share the vision.

📡Connecting/networking worksheet (one of my most popular resources).  Download and fill in with names to give clarity on people who would love to help you with connections.

📡Practice your 30 second vision/mission elevator pitch.  Try it out on your mother-in-law, your favorite 14 year-old, or your postal worker.  If they get it, you’re good!

Then…go ahead and treat yourself to your favorite donut!

Have a great week.

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If you haven't taken advantage of some of the resources I've created to help major gift fundraisers, take a look now!  Initial calls with me are free and "no strings attached".  Sometimes folks feel like they need to wait and not 'bother' me until they have a pressing issue.  No need for that...just make the call. 🕺

Here's where you can access a lot of content for free:

* Follow me on LinkedIn - You'll get short pro-tips and reflections on major gift fundraising every day between 5-7am pacific.

* Breakthru Newsletter - As you've seen here, these are longer weekly posts (audio and written) sent directly to your email.

* Breakthru Blog - the newsletter from the previous week gets posted here each week for everyone (so email subscribers get it a week early).

* Breakthru Podcast - Interviews with high net worth givers about how we as fundraisers can get better at inviting them to the party.  And audio readings of Breakthru Blog posts.

Before getting to the PAID stuff:

My opinion is that no small ministry with a tight budget should be spending more than $3-5k (total) for major gift coaching/consulting.  Most of you will be good-to-go spending far less than that.  This was a major issue for me when I was a frontline fundraiser - major gift consultants were an expensive 'black-box-of-confusion' for me.  That stops now.

Here's the PAID stuff:

* Online Catalyst Course - This is a full brain dump of my 28+ years of experience - good, bad, ugly.  It's built around the fundamentals, the sacredness, and the fun, of major gift fundraising.  It's infused with Henri Nouwen reflections.  Many people can take this course and they will be 'cooking-with-gas' and not need any additional coaching from me on the core systems.  I'm grateful that this course has gotten *great* reviews.

* Live coaching with me - I refer to this as "brain rental".  The ROI on live coaching, as you might imagine, is extraordinary.

Finally, be sure to connect with my colleague Ivana Salloum.  She's super awesome and can help with scheduling and access to resources, etc.

I look forward to hearing about your good work!


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