Two informal surveys of ours indicate that those who dabble even a little bit in planned giving do significantly better in their careers than those who do not. Actually, forget about our surveys and think about this logically. Planned giving is a proactive field. It involves foresight and thoughtful long-term planning for the future. This is different from annual giving which is more about addressing urgency. And, as we know, in almost any field, those in charge of long-term planning are compensated better than those serving immediate needs.
Here are some tips on getting your career energized. Read over them, then put them into action straight away.
- Set daily goals. I prefer to write them down by hand. I’ve heard that while writing, the nerve endings in your fingers light up your brain.
- Recognize the difference between motion and action. Between being busy and being productive. Personal stuff, like picking up your dry cleaning, should be done after work.
- Call and thank a donor every day. At least send a thank-you card. Five a day would be ideal.
- Remember that your career is not about attending planned giving calculator courses or how the generation skipping tax works. You are better off learning about how to improve your interaction with people. We do not need geniuses who lack people skills.
- Relieve yourself from back-office work. I.E., farm out the busy work! If your boss objects by telling you it’s not in the budget, explain how much more expensive opportunity costs are.
- Do not multitask unless one project is on hold. It adds to inefficiency. Do not fight me on this one.
- Link everything you do back to your goals. Read this twice.
- For premium work, turn off text, email and phones. Technology is a blessing as well as a curse. One distraction can set you back 15 minutes.
In some environments, the average employee productivity is as low as 80%. Do not be part of that group!
I’d love to hear from you with more recommendations. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.