Friday Questions(s)

  • Posted by Joshua on March 8, 2024 at 11:40 am

    Happy Friday Challengers!

    First of all, THANK YOU for tackling this challenge. For those of you who are just getting started using AI tools, congrats on leaning in and tryin’ something new. And for those of you who’ve been using these tools for a bit, I hope your using them even more!

    One of the things that’s hard about new tool is incorporating it into your daily workflow (I’m still not using my Instapot often enough!).

    And one of the proven ways to incorporating a new tool into your daily workflow is pinpoint ways the tool can help you!

    So, here are some questions to help you get thinking about where you’re stuck. Post your answers in the comments below … and we’ll figure out how AI can help you get unstuck!

    These questions are a little broad. But trust me! Spend a couple of minutes thinking about and answering one.

    1. What are the main obstacles you face when trying to hit your fundraising goals?

    2. Could you rank the top three challenges you encounter when writing a piece of fundraising (appeal, newsletter, e-appeal, major donor ask, etc.)

    3. What do you think is holding you back from taking your fundraising to the next level?

    Mary R replied 1 month ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Jenny

    March 8, 2024 at 12:26 pm

    The things that hold me back the most: the internal issues are self-doubt & perfectionism, which together often paralyze me from completing important tasks; & the biggest external issue is a board that doesn’t understand how much I already have to do, so they regularly give me tasks that don’t really move the needle or help us raise more money, but feel important to them.

    • Joshua

      March 8, 2024 at 12:52 pm

      I’m with ya on self-doubt and perfectionism! And like we talked about earlier this week, they’re two of the biggest blockers of getting things done.

      There’s a lot to unpack to get to the roots of self-doubt and perfectionism. But if our goal here (today) is to just figure out how to get past them so we can get unstuck, and how AI can help do it, then here goes…

      One of the roadblocks with perfectionism is not even wanting to start (blank page, perfect first sentence, etc.). AI can give you a bunch of good enough first sentences to get you started. And as we saw in the first part of this challenge, pretty good first drafts!

      Another part of perfectionism is doing everything yourself because you’re worried someone else could mess it up. Well an AI virtual ass’t can do scheduling, data entry and some other menial routine tasks (even copy editing!) that are time sucks for perfectionists.

      Self doubt!

      If one of the roots of self-doubt is not believing what ya got is good or won’t be received well, drop that major donor offer (for example) into chatGPT and ask them to analyze it. Just that — ‘analyze this and make it better.’ In this case, ChatGPT can be like a buddy in a writers room, giving you real time feedback.

      If the self-doubt comes from The Resistance or Imposter Syndrome, check out an AI coach chatbot (there’s a bunch of really great bots and AI tools bundled together in BoodleBox.

      For the board issue — you can use AI to draft an email to the board explaining the problem they’re causing for ya. Or even ask it to create a ‘roles and responsibilities’ for board members 😁.

      In all seriousness, an AI powered virtual ass’t or chatbot can help automate some of the tasks (if they’re rote). And leveraging the power of AI in other parts of your job will free you up to knock out the meaningless stuff until the board gets their attention focused properly.

      And can I ask — is it possible they’re well intentioned and just wanna help but don’t know how? If that’s teh case, AI can help put them to work. There are AI tools that can analyzing your donor database to identify top prospects for board introductions. And you can use AI to create custom fundraising plans and templates for each board member.

      Just some ideas! Thank you for posting your thoughts. Tagging in @mary-r-snyder and @clay-buck who might have some suggestions for the self-doubt and perfectionism!

    • Mary R

      March 8, 2024 at 2:28 pm

      I hear you — that creeping self doubt can come when your plate is full and someone is offering you MORE ideas! I know that boards often feel their job is to generate ideas — it’s our job to let them know we need help.

      Here’s something I’m doing with a client right now — Evaluation I call InspireMetrics. We developed categories that matter to them. They chose:

      Brings in funds

      Creates strong awareness that will lead to funding

      Deepens donor relationships

      Volunteer appreciation

      Team building


      And they are going through every donor development aspect and ranking them in these categories. Each area is ranked and we will review what needs more attention and what needs less.

      This is a great way to showcase your work for you board. My thought is ‘if it’s not moving the needle’ then let’s evaluate if we need to do this.

      Another idea for when a board member brings an ‘idea’ to the table– kindly ask “can you head up this project?” Let him/ her know that your focus is the health of the organization and that means you have to focus on what moves the needle with funding and the overall operation of the org

      On to the self doubt and overwhelm. We all struggle with it. I know I do. But I want you to think about that big success last month or last year. Remember you did that! Don’t lose sight of your successes! You’ve got this!

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