It seems we often spend a lot of our time trying to keep the many balls we are juggling in the air. I wish it was as easy as simply juggling. Sometimes your challenges are enhanced by difficult staff, volunteers, and donors. More than just keeping a rhythm of donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship we experience concerns about cash flow and reaching our target numbers. I find that it can be extremely hard to keep track of priorities in today’s development world.
Here are a few techniques that I’ve used to help me. I know many of you have more years of experience and, I imagine, tricks up your sleeve than I do. So, please leave a comment below with your tricks and tips.
- Computer Monitor Sticky Notes: Beside my monitor I will often post my upcoming key deadlines or events. I may often just post my three most urgent projects so they are immediately in my view right when I sit down to work.
- Daily & Comprehensive Task Lists: I have a friend who I use to tease about having a list of her lists and now I understand her system. Most mornings I create a list of what I’d like to accomplish that day. I also have a comprehensive list of everything I need to get done so I don’t miss anything. I think that the key here is writing down reminders to yourself.
- Key Phone Call Content Sticky: When I have volunteers and board members I’ve a number of questions for I’ll create a sticky with a comprehensive list. Too often immediately after a volunteer has return my message I’ve called them back with a question I forgot to ask.
- Top Donor Names Notecard: Too keep important actions and donors at the top of my mind I will have them on a notecard upside-down on my desk. That way other donors cannot see them when they are in my office but it acts as a reminder to me of my top prospects.