Launching Miracle Strategies, LLC on February 24, 2017, was a moment many years in the making. In fact, in 2005, I nervously logged into the Ga. Secretary of State site and incorporated the name Miracle Strategies. And, then I waited and learned and worked alongside generous and talented people in our region to fundraise for important causes with lasting impact.
By 2017, I was ready professionally…but even then, it was my 50th birthday and the encouragement of my husband, Dan, and my family in Florida that gave me the courage to move forward on my own.
While these most recent moments pushed me to realize my dream, it was the experience of learning and being molded by capable trustees, event chairs, and committee members that provided the springboard for my decision.
Several mornings this week, I wrote personal notes to these patient mentors whom I watched, listened to, and then imitated over the years. I modeled their actions and absorbed their mantras, and in turn, without ado, they helped me succeed.
Here, in the first edition of Strategic Miracles, I’ve shared their advice and highlighted how these practices positively impacted fundraising in the organizations where I worked
“If you don’t spend it, you don’t have to raise it.” – Donors want to know that their donation is supporting services and outcomes, not expensive administrative costs. In my seven plus years at Memorial, I cut the cost of fundraising 14% annually, year over year!
“Wait! Let’s start from the beginning.” – Event committees love to dive into menus and table arrangements, but early in my career, I learned from a seasoned event chair to start in the parking lot. Because of this guidance, our events – board meetings included – began with simple directions in the invitation…. signage in the parking lot….valet when needed…and staff in the parking garages. Donors love the personal touch, and your organization is spared much embarrassment and frantic cell calls from lost guests.
“Don’t call a vote until you know how it will go.” – This is among the best advice I ever received. It seems logical, but often non-profit leaders seem surprised when concerns arise during board or committee meetings. Awkward conversations can be avoided simply by calling each volunteer beforehand. Without any stress, you can respectfully answer questions, provide research, and quell concerns so that you’re never surprised when the motion is called.
“Slowly, slowly, catch the Monkey.” – All fundraisers have one simple goal – Yes! And, now. Anytime I expressed disappointment in delay or concern over considerations, our former board chairman would remind me that development work takes time, and that if I moved too fast, too abruptly…I may miss the joy of a well-cultivated gift.
Through fundraising, I’ve been blessed to know highly successful people, often retirees who take great joy in mentoring, teaching, and sharing their experiences. I’ve observed their practices and often heeded their guidance.
These strategic miracles could have been ignored or passed by unnoted, but instead, their influence positioned me to launch Miracle Strategies, LLC and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.