Face-to-Face – the Minutes Principle

In the previous post, we saw that the single most effective way of raising money is through Face-to-Face meetings.  How much time are you spending each week one-on-one w/ people who are potential donors?  Do you actually track it?  Here is a tip to get a reality check: it’s called the Minutes Principle, created by Brian Tracy – and it has helped me.

  1. Purchase an inexpensive stop watch.
  2. Start it every time you are face-to-face with someone who would be interested in connecting w/your organization on a meaningful level.
  3. Stop the watch when the meeting is over.
  4. Keep doing this all week. 
  5. At the end of the week, see how you did.  This is your baseline.

If you are responsible for fundraising and if 80% of your time is not spent face-to-face, you probably are wasting a great deal of time.  Now, I know that you all want to be effective and industrious.  About 50% of our day is wasted  . . .How do we waste time w/out realizing it? 

First of all it is wasted in idle chit chat with coworkers, it is about 37 percent of that 50 percent or almost two thirds of it is wasted in chatting with your friends. It is wasted in long lunches, coffee breaks, it is wasted in reading the newspaper and surfing the Internet. It is wasted coming in late and leaving early. It is wasted by putting your prospects on opposite sides of town and spending half the day driving to and from.

In other words, fully 50 percent is wasted, and that is the average for most people. And when you say that to non-profit leaders, what they suddenly realize is they go to work and they just start shooting the breeze, drinking coffee, reading the paper and so on. So I encourage people to ask this question over and over again. Is what I am doing right now leading to a gift? And if it is not leading to a gift, stop doing it and start doing something that is leading to a gift.

Take the first step:  get your stopwatch and determine your current baseline.  Then, set yourself the goal of doubling your face-to-face time with donors building the relationships and asking for the gifts.  Keep doing this every week until fully 80% of your time is spent in meaningful conversations with those willing to commit to your organizatin.

 How to create a solid strategy to accomplish this?  Ask your questions in the comments section, and we will discuss it.  A lot is a matter of clarity, focus and effective time mangement . . .

If you are interested in accessing more great ideas from Brian Tracy and the world’s smartest millionaires, see:


Posted on February 16, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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