“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically—to say no to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger yes burning inside.” – Stephen Covey

You are so busy! December is packed with work and personal obligations. What’s the key to success? Set priorities.

Week One: List every $1,000+ donor and prospective donor who has yet to make a gift. Moving downward from the highest dollar amounts, assign someone to make a personal call to each donor. If possible, invite those at the very top of the list for coffee. Try not to rely on email. Pick up the phone! If $1,000 is too low because you have too many donors at that level, go to $2,500 or $5,000. If $1,000 is too high, start at $250 or $500. Whatever your situation, work the top of your pyramid.

Week Two: List every donor who gave you $1,000+ in the last six months. If you’re a small shop, list every $1,000+ gift in 2015. If you’re a big shop with too many donors at that level, move up the pyramid or make the time frame shorter. Call each of these donors. Thank them again. Specify the difference he, she, the family, the foundation, or the company made. Get help with these calls. Everyone on the team can make a call a day. Mission staff and board members can make calls. “I hope you received our holiday card. Just wanted to add my voice. We appreciate all you’ve done to help (the people or cause you serve). Your investments have made a significant difference. Thank you.”

Curious about priorities for the rest of December? They will be featured in the full version of this article, which is included in the December issue of SPN News. Keep an eye out for this newsletter in your mailbox over the next couple of weeks.



Karen Osborne is president of The Osborne Group. This article originally appeared on The Osborne Group Blog.