Graphic with word: DisciplineI titled this negatively: “Ignore this and fail.”
Here’s why: I wanted to get your attention.
I know this is personal. This is about you, how you work and what you pay attention to. And this is part of your work that has nothing to do with strategy, the quality of the donor, or what you have to offer the donor.
That’s why this subject is often overlooked in major gift work. It’s simply this: What is it that you are NOT doing, that you know you should be doing?
There is no need to feel bad about any of this. We all have things, in all aspects of our lives, that we know we need to do but don’t want to. I have my list; you have yours.
Here’s another the question: What’s on your list of things you know you need to do with your caseload donors today and this week? Make the list. It may have things on it like this:

  1. Call those donors you said you would call.
  2. Prepare a “You Made a Difference” report for those donors that need to know that their giving made a real impact.
  3. Make appointments with those donors you promised to meet with.
  4. Call that donor who needs to know that the program they are supporting has changed, and make sure they are OK with continuing their giving.
  5. Respond to that donor who had a complaint, and process her concerns.
  6. Revisit the goal you have for each of your caseload donors through the end of 2017.
  7. Update the plans you have for donors who have not given yet this year.
  8. Prepare a report on your progress for your manager, even though he/she has not asked for it. Make sure they understand the good work you are doing.
  9. Schedule the other things you know you need to get done but don’t have time to do today – in other words, get all that is left to do on your schedule, so you actually do them in the next seven business days.

There may be other things you need to get done. Add them to your list.
Here’s the point: look at those things you need to get done or have been avoiding, and make a plan to DO them. As an act of your will, conjure up the discipline just to do them.
An act of your will.
Not necessarily fun – but necessary.
You can do it. And when you do it, you will get closer to success.