The other day, I wrote about feeling overwhelmed. Somewhere I read that if you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious and you can’t focus, one of the best things you can do when you wake up in the morning is make your bed. (Tweet it!)

So I’ve practiced it, and it actually works. It gives me a feeling of control; I’ve immediately accomplished something already in my day. It makes me feel better.

I’ve been making my bed a lot lately.

We work with many overwhelmed, unfocused front-line fundraisers. In fact, it’s more common than not. It’s one of the main reasons we’re brought in to help organizations with mid, major and planned giving programs.

We’re successful in helping those front-line fundraisers get back on track because we have a system that’s designed to help them. This system helps you get organized, stay focused and create meaningful relationships with your donors.

I read scores of comments from colleagues of yours around the world – people who are struggling so mightily with having to juggle so much and their inability to keep it all straight. Richard and I want so badly for you to know and adopt this system so your struggle will end.

There’s nothing earth-shattering about this system, what we call The Veritus Way. But if you adopt it, you’ll be in more control, you’ll have clarity on your work, you’ll develop stronger relationships with your donors, and you’ll raise much more revenue than you ever dreamed you could.

Here it is:

  1. Create a caseload of no more than 150 qualified donors — The word qualified is the most important here. Find out how to qualify donors here. But this is single best way to keep the right focus and keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
  2. Create a revenue goal and strategic plan for every donor for the entire year — I cannot stress enough how much this will help you lessen your stress. Yes, it takes a little work to do this, but thousands of front-line fundraisers have done it, and they’re happier and more successful than their colleagues who don’t do this. When you’re creating your plan, make sure you identify the donor’s passions and interests and their communication preferences. If you don’t know them, that’s your first goal to find that out.
  3. Tier your donors, A-C — This gives you further clarity about what donors to focus your time on. Your A-level donors typically give 50% of the total value of your caseload. That’s where you spend the majority of your time. (Learn to do this here.)
  4. Meet with your manager consistently — We recommend you meet weekly. This isn’t about micro-managing you. This is helping you stay focused on your strategic plan and getting guidance about donor strategy. In our experience, this is one of the key factors in helping you be successful, yet it’s also one area that many front-line fundraisers balk at. Richard and I understand that. But know that if you want to stay focused and really build authentic relationships with your donors, allowing yourself to be managed in this manner works.

These four steps, this structure we’ve developed at Veritus, will help you stay organized, less overwhelmed and focused on the right donors, so you have the ability to build real relationships with donors.

Richard and I know for a fact that it will work for you as, again, thousands of front-line fundraisers have adopted this approach to their work – and it’s not only made them better fundraisers that raise much more revenue, but they’re happier in their work.