If you are a self-starter or have been in management in the private sector, you know that SUCCESS CAN BE MEASURED. It is often measured using metrics or KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). In the private sector, this is a drumbeat that you can’t escape. There are metrics for the company, the team, and the individual. In the non-profit world, we are still trying to figure it out.

However, those who are driven, want to know they are getting better and having an impact. Thus the importance of being able to measure their success to identify opportunities. Fortunately, the private sector has moved beyond just looking at the outcomes to identify success, like many of the great fundraisers I know, they examine the story. Using KPI’s they examine individual aspects of the number of appointments set in relation to calls; retention rates; length of the ask cycle. To best assist your team, it is valuable to understand their individual challenges and opportunities.

SO WHAT IS YOUR MODEL? If your team has not developed a donor process model, then look at how you work with donors and create your own. Look at: How many phone calls you make; how many appts you make as a result; how many follow-up visits; how many “asks”; how many of those “asks” result in donations.

Now you are creating your own story of success. As you begin to measure these, then you will start to find success beyond just the dollars you bring in, you will find success in your skills. As you improve your skills, you will become more equipped to assist your colleagues in improving their skills. This will improve the success of your team. This can become a story you can share for that next opportunity.

For managers, directors, and officers this creates an opportunity for individuals to not only have an impact through the organization, but within the organization. Evaluating your team for development opportunities, demonstrates your interest in them as people and assets to your organization. In Anna Goldberg’s recent post “Is there a Secret…”, states “Organizations that create strong team cultures and value their employees as people will succeed in retaining them.”

Creating a model for your team takes time, but is not hard. Here are a few steps to get you started.

1) Find your daily/ weekly process – what are things that those responsible for bringing in the revenue due routinely (phone calls, donor visits, thank you notes, requests/ asks) and start to measure them.

2) Connect it to the mission, programs, and goals – How does what they are doing contribute to the mission of the organization. We all know money is important and necessary, but be specific. If you have weekly programs, such as feeding or housing, then talk about what you raise in relation to those programs. Even if saying the first $10,000 each week is for our core program, who will raise that first $10,000 this week.

3) Most important, Find success – now that you are measuring these routine activities, find success for yourself or for the team. If you got more appointments with the same amount of calls, celebrate it. If you got more follow-up visits than last week, celebrate it. Find success in your model and build your story.

As a sales manager, this is what got me jazzed. Helping people realize that there personal success was more than just who brought in the biggest account or the most accounts. When I got my team focused on finding their improvements and successes, the accounts and revenue became ordinary, and the improved appointment setting or cultivation became what everyone got excited about.

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