Wearing too many hats?

The other day I chatted with the Executive Director of a small non-profit. She admitted she was wearing a lot of hats, but was finding she was not cultivating donors nearly as much as she was doing other duties. This Executive Director’s background was in Program, so she would easily settle into doing Program-related duties and find there was simply no time left for donor calls.

Later on, I visited with a young development professional, also from a small non-profit. It was amazing how similar the two conversations were. Both were finding themselves unable to get to the work of fundraising in the course of their busy days, after doing what was in their comfort zone: Program for the Executive Director, miscellaneous for the young development pro.

I am guilty of the same thing. I “take a break” from grant writing in order to stuff envelopes, or man a registration table, or attend a meeting. But that time is not always a mental health “break,” sometimes it’s avoidance. Sometimes the “break” ends up being time lost by the non-profit that needs the financial support that our work can bring.

We all need to be more disciplined and keep our minds focused on the work at hand, particularly when it’s as vital as fundraising work. Do you ever find yourself getting distracted to the point of avoidance? What do you do to stay focused, or get re-focused, when there’s the distraction of so much ELSE that needs doing?

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