Short term. Long term.“Look, we need to meet our goals! So make it happen!”
You’ve heard it hundreds of times. It is the reality we all face at any level of an organization, whether you are a MGO, a finance person or the CEO.
And so the mind shifts to the immediate, and the steps you need to take to reach the goal.
This is logical and reasonable. Financial objectives need to be met.
But the problem is how it affects our long-term thinking. A recent blog post by Seth Godin brought this into sharp focus for me:

“If an Apple upgrade breaks your phone and you switch to Android, it costs Apple more than $10,000.

“If you switch supermarkets because a clerk was snide with you, it removes $50,000 from the store’s ongoing revenue.

“If a kid has a lousy first grade teacher or is bullied throughout middle school, it might decrease his productivity for the rest of us by a million dollars.

“Torrents are made of drips.

“The short-term impact (plus or minus) of our work or our errors is dwarfed by the long-term effects. Compounded over time, little things become big things.”

In fundraising and major gifts, this is about lifetime value. Each donor on your caseload has one. And it is a lot bigger than you think. Her current lifetime value is calculated by what she is currently giving.
Think about what it could be if you added in her potential giving!
Reaching this month’s or this year’s goals is important and needed – but keep thinking about how your behavior, with every donor on your caseload, is affecting your long-term relationship. Is your focus on how to fulfill your donor’s interests and passions through your organization? Or is it more about securing the donor’s money?
There is a huge difference. Oftentimes this difference can only be measured in nuances that are difficult to manage.
What I have found is that if your heart and spirit are centered on the donor and her best interests, it will guide your behavior with that donor and help protect your long-term relationship. (Tweet it!)