So Much to Do, So Little Time


My good friend and fellow fundraising professional Amy Jones recently wrote a blog on her site, Authentically Amy, that talks about the value of a "To Done" list to complement your "To Do" list. This idea resonated with me and, I assumed, would with other fundraisers out there who never seem to complete a "To Do" list.  Or when you finish the first list, have your "B" and "C" list waiting for you. 

When I teach fundraising, I warn students that everyone thinks they can fund raise and has ideas about ways you can do a better job of it. How many times have you heard:

"So and so just gave a big gift to Organization X. Why didn't you talk to him or her about our organization?"


"Organization X just hosted this fabulous event; we should do that too." 

Even worse, no matter how much money you raise or how many successful grants you submit, the organization always needs more money. You have little time to celebrate one success before moving on to the next thing. How I dreaded the first fundraising report of the new year with all the big fat ZEROS on funds raised ... time to start again!

To Do lists help us focus on what we need to get done. Don't get me wrong, I'd be totally lost without mine ... or the five sub-to do lists that help me organize on what day I plan to complete each item. But even crossing items off a long to do list, as satisfying as that may seem, still leaves lots to get done and may make one feel like a failure at the end of the day. 

So take Amy's advice and spend a few minutes thinking about what you got done today so that you can leave your day feeling good about it, not fretting about what you didn't accomplish. 

To get started, here's my "To Done" list for today. What does yours look like?

  1. Got my blog about "To Done" lists posted!

  2. Ate lunch ... at the table... on the porch

  3. Drafted 3 grants ... ahead of schedule

  4. Returned a call from yesterday that I had forgotten about

  5. Did the exercises my PT gave me to stretch my neck and shoulders