As the end of 2016 approached, I came across an inspiring article titled “13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want to Be Successful”. The article focused on the idea that, in order to become successful and get closer to the person we can become, we don’t need to add more things – we need to give up some of them. This piece got me to thinking about how we in the development world take on too much at times, and what can we “give up” to be more successful in our position and become a top performer. So, I came up with a list of 10 Things (+ 1) that you can think about and consider “giving up” as you strive to become a Top Performing Development Professional! This blog will describe the final FIVE (plus 1).

The Final 5 of 10 Things (Plus One) to Give Up

in Order to be a Top Performing Development Professional

6.     Give up the mindset that your nonprofit or organization is too small or you’re in competition with everyone else for major gifts. (Guess what, you are!) You have to figure out a way to do the things that no one else is doing, to go the extra mile, to take the extra steps, etc. Learn how to make your cause stand out, no matter how small or how big you may be.

7.     Give up not having a plan, not having daily, weekly and monthly priorities. You can’t just go at this without some direction and a plan of action. Utilize the 6 x 6 report with your supervisor and pick 6 priorities to focus on over a 6 week period. Let this be the basis for your plan.

8.     Give up the Fixed Mindset. Focus on the Growth Mindset. Remember, you have two options: “Step Forward into Growth” or Step Back into Safety”

9.     Give up making excuses. Accept responsibility.

10.  Give up not researching, getting to know and understanding your donors. Donor cultivation and stewardship are key components that cannot be taken lightly. They are a critical part of the process. The better you understand and know your donors, the more likely you are to secure a major gift, as well as future gifts.

11.  Give up on talking about your mission. Your mission is what you do and that is central. However a more powerful message is your purpose. Find your organization's purpose for what you do, and you will engage more loyal and dedicated donors.