Institute for Charitable Giving

The Great Fundraisers Practice the Principle of Ready, Fire, Aim

Some in our field are guilty of spending all of their time preparing for an ask or a campaign. Or they spend all their time analyzing the most effective way to call on a prospect— instead of making the call.

I know some who keep asking for more research and information. “I need more analysis, more exploration. I need to know more.”

These folks never seem to have time to actually go out and make the call for a gift. They are joyously busy spending their time analyzing and assessing. I call this grave disease Analysis Paralysis.

There is only one cure. Leave the office and make the call.

There are some you call on who are ready to make a gift now. It’s your job to determine the state of their readiness. There are times that you may end up with a gift of $10,000 because you hadn’t done sufficient cultivation. You were hoping for more. But with the proper stewardship and celebrating the gift, that $10,000 is the first step in getting a much larger one next time.

I call on a lot of development people who tell me that they still need to make a couple more cultivation calls. And it’s true.  You can’t sell a vision in 45 minutes. But I find that the successful ones practice the principle of ready, fire, aim.

I believe Emerson had the answer for us. “Be filled with zeal, fired with enthusiasm, then proceed with haste. Go beyond what you feel is impossible.”


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