In the movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” most of us remember when the wizard told the scarecrow that he didn’t need a “brain,” but rather just a diploma. And that the lion could cure his “fear” by wearing a medal. The diploma and the medal each acted as the framework for an identity that the characters were lacking.
I like to use this analogy to help clients take action. Sometimes we hesitate, stall, or procrastinate, not because we don’t want to act, but because we don’t have the framework to help us launch.
If you need to develop a strategy for your annual gift appeal, don’t get hung up on a theme, or lack thereof. Rather, create an outline that you can just fill in the blanks. As you start to fill in the easy blanks, the momentum will carry you forward and help you with the difficult pieces of the puzzle.
This is also helpful when deciding how to approach a major donor. Rather than get stuck on the creative aspect, develop the framework for the visit in general. Take an old proposal and edit as you go along. Then as you fill in the blanks, the creativity will jump out in front of you.
Whatever the task is that you feel challenged to begin, create a framework that allows you to start without even thinking about it.
When our clients admit that the biggest challenge is “starting” a project, they also admit that creative ideas are a stumbling block. This method of overcoming the creative hurdle helps every time.
What is a framework you can lay out today to get you started?
Written by: John J. Corcoran
President & CEO