Episode 133 | How Gratitude Changes Everything

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These last few weeks have been quite the whirlwind for me.  I went out of town for 10 days that kicked off with a workshop I did with my friend Joel for nonprofit executives, then to the Igniting Souls author conference, and concluded with taking on a brand new client.

What is gratitude?  It’s a feeling of appreciation and showing an appreciation of kindness and being thankful.  Being grateful is being thankful – thankful to others for what they’ve done for us, volunteers willing to spend their time with us, gratitude for people who give generously.  Gratitude is contagious.  Gratitude creates positive thinking.  Our brains cannot think positively and negatively at the same time.  This means we can’t have the glass half full and half empty at the same time.  As someone who works with fundraisers, it’s my job as the encourager to get you thinking about who you can call on and what opportunities you can take to help you achieve your goals.  When you have peace about what you’re doing, you have less fear. 

Gratitude creates resilience.  Resilience to life’s challenges.  When you are able to bounce back quicker from what life throws at you, you are able to raise more funds and create greater impact.  We have all been through traumatic experiences; how often do we find ourselves in a position where someone gave to our organization and then all of a sudden, they’re gone?  If you wallow in the sadness of them leaving, you can easily create a downward spiral of negative thinking.  We have to be able to be resilient and understand that not every donor is going to come back, we should never have an expectation that donors are going to give every year. 

Gratitude creates joy.  Practicing gratitude everyday brings joy in your life.  I have mentioned this before, but in the back of my journal, I have a joy list.  It’s a bulleted list of all the things that bring me joy.  I try and spend most of my time doing the things on my list that bring me joy because I have a choice every single day to do things I enjoy.  One of the things on my list is deep conversations so I work really hard to incorporate these types of conversations into my daily life and into the work I do. 

Gratitude can change everything including our mental state and can help us turn things around.  My challenge to you today is to create your own joy list.  As we gear up for this holiday season and the season of giving, think through those little things that bring you joy and how just by changing your thought process can change how people feel about your cause.  People give to people; they don’t give to causes.  People are giving to you and the life change you are making through your organization.  It’s way easier to give to someone who is positive and shows gratitude toward your generosity.  If you’re feeling really stressed right now, I need you to push that to the side and be thinking positive thoughts because those negative thoughts are not doing you any favors, they aren’t helping your fundraising, and your desperation is repelling people away from you and your cause.

Last week we talked about podcasting and I wanted to let you all know that I am launching a new podcast with my friend Joel Kessel called the Nonprofit Executive Podcast.  The first three episodes are dropping later this week.  This is THE podcast for nonprofit executives who are working through strategic plans, board development, administrative support and all of those different roles that come with an executive title.  Joel and I will specifically talk about strategic planning and fundraising.  Visit http://nonprofitexecutivepodcast.com/.

Interested in joining the Nonprofit Executive Club?  Check out nonprofitexecutiveclub.com 

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap

Interested in joining the Nonprofit Executive Club?  Check out nonprofitexecutiveclub.com 

Episode 132 | Should You Start a Podcast with Danny Ozment

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Today we are talking with Danny Ozment, founder and producer at Emerald City Productions.  Danny was on a path to becoming a conductor when his daughter’s birth necessitated flexibility and a major change in priorities.  Danny spent the first seven years in his new business focusing on a cappella given his 20-year music career as a singer and producer of choral music and contemporary a cappella. Being a fan of many podcasts, Danny started his own show and quickly began editing and producing podcasts for others.

Do you think every nonprofit should have a podcast?

Yes – anyone who has something to say should have a podcast.  Most organizations are either developing or have developed content for marketing.  Podcasting can be a way of saving time because you can record a podcast as if you were dictating notes to someone who was going to write a blog post or article.  And then you transcribe it and then you or your support staff can generate the necessary blog articles or quotes for social media.  Podcasts are the one form of new media where you can have a long-form, nuanced conversations and share stories.  People who are listening to podcasts right now are lonely and starved for actual conversation.  When they’re stuck in their long commutes, their frustrating jobs, they want to connect with someone.  Or, maybe they want to learn something while they are running or cleaning their house; podcasts are the way to do that.  The podcast host then becomes their friend or the expert/authority on a topic after a few episodes.  Nonprofits have an expertise in an area and podcasts are how they can share that content.

Right now, there are more than 50% of Americans who listen to podcasts on a weekly basis and that number continues to steadily increase.  90% of podcast listeners consume at least half or more than half of an episode.  These people are giving you much more attention than blogs or videos, even more so than social media posts. 

Traditionally, podcasts start out establishing the pillars or core values or the cause they are focusing on.  Once you’ve established that evergreen content, it’s a good idea to bring in other experts – from other organizations, other people from within your organization, people from around the world who can support what you’re saying because then the people listening to you realize that you really do know what you are talking about. You also need to think about your audience.  I have clients who will interview an audience member and do a live coaching.  Or they will do a focus group and ask a lot of questions. 

If someone is wanting to start a podcast, what is the first thing they need to know?

You have to have the desire to improve communication between you and your community (your cause).  You need a USB microphone – the one I love is the Audio-Technica ATR2100 – since it’s a USB mic, you can plug it right into your computer and start recording.  To record, you can use QuickTime, Garage Band, or Audacity for PC and then all you need after that is a hosting solution; companies like Libsyn, Blubrry, or Podbean take your file and spread it to the rest of the world. 

What are you seeing nonprofits do well that you think others should replicate?

They stay on mission.  They have a reason they exist.  Strong nonprofit game right now is hosting events that engage the community and really fit people. 

What have you seen that’s not working?

The number one complaint I hear out of the nonprofit world is we never have enough staff; the whole staff is overworked and underpaid.  Nonprofits don’t outsource enough.  For example, if a nonprofit is wanting to start a podcast, though it’s not hard work, it’s a lot of work because it’s a long play – it could take six months to a year.  Consistency is key – if you are going to podcast once a week or once a month, then you have to stick to that schedule.  What my company, Emerald City Productions, does is produce podcasts for businesses.  On the business’ end, they record into a mic and then we handle everything else from the tech side to show notes to content for blogs and/or social media posts.  This is what I see nonprofits not doing well, which is taking advantage of the contract help that’s out there.

Are there any resources you would recommend?

If you’re thinking about a podcast, my podcast is a great place to start it’s called Podcast Strategies and people can find it wherever they get their podcasts.  If you are a LinkedIn Learning member, I have an A-Z course called Producing Podcasts and it covers everything from how to choose the audience you’re speaking to, here’s how to choose your title or format, here’s what you do to create the artwork, etc.  For more research on podcasting, Edison Research released The Podcast Consumer 2019.

What does freedom mean to you?

Freedom to me means having the time to develop new ideas and concepts in my business and organization without having to worry about managing the machine that is the day to day of running the organization. 

For Danny’s podcast, please go to dannyozment.com.  Want to work with Danny?  Here’s where you can set up a discovery call, emeraldcitypro.com/call

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap

Interested in joining the Nonprofit Executive Club?  Check out nonprofitexecutiveclub.com 

Episode 131 | Grant Writing with Meredith Noble

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On today’s show, we are joined by my guest, Meredith Noble.  Meredith is the lead instructor and founder of SenecaWorks project management consulting firm and learngrantwriting.org.  Their mission is to empower natural change-makers in making our communities vibrant, sustainable, and healthy.

Can you demystify grant writing for us?

Grant writing is not free money; it’s a vehicle for driving innovation and making change.  With grant writing, you are trying to find a way to subsidize some of the risk from your organization.  Look at it like writing a persuasive essay – you are trying to convince someone that your cause is worthy of the funding.  You don’t have to be a stellar writer, but through the grant writing process, you can learn to write clearly and succinctly.  Sentences should be 25 words or less, like a newspaper article.

If someone is either looking for a grant writer or considering become a grant writer, what should they do to get started?

If someone is considering hiring a grant writer, ask around to find who is behind successful applications you know about, especially if you have a specific grant you want to go after.  If you can’t find someone you’re thrilled with, I recommend using Instrumentl Grant Writing matchmaking service.  Instrumentl is a grant database for finding new grant opportunities.  They also have a service where you can post your project or service that needs funding and they will match you with a grant writer.

Tell us about your grant writing program.

We have four modules, the first one is teaching students how to make their projects irresistible to funders.  Second, we show you how to make a bulletproof budget.  Next, is the secret sauce, which is how to find grants and which ones are worth pursuing.  Finally, the last module is how to write winning grants and it’s built for the busy community change-maker who doesn’t have a lot of time.  They can download audio files to listen as they commute to work.  There are instructional videos online access to templates and samples.  We also have a community platform that operates like Facebook.

What do you see people doing really well?

Most people coming to me have a very clear ‘why’ when it comes to their work; why it’s important. They have so much grit and persistence. 

What do you see people struggle with?

From a grant writing perspective, people chase grants haphazardly.  They chase them last minute; they are dropping everything to apply for a grant that looks like it’s the perfect opportunity and then they find out in the end that they had no chance, or they made a silly last-minute mistake.  This cycle is really hard to break out of and is the most important habit I would change in people.  I would then replace it with a plan on how to develop a funding strategy, which is a roadmap for knowing which grants you’re pursuing, when, and what needs to be done to prepare.

Here are two tips on how to determine if a grant is right for your organization.

  1. Calculate the likelihood of success.  Figure out how many applicants applied last year and divide by the number that were awarded funding.  If 100 applicants applied and 20 were given grants, then there’s a 20% chance of getting funded.  I strive for 15% at the lowest, preferably 20%, likelihood of success. 
  2. Calculate the true cost of preparing an application.  When you consider everyone involved in the process, you’re sometimes looking at $1000 per hour just to meet.  I encourage my students to really think about the true cost of the application.  If you’re a new nonprofit, you are going to be in the red in the beginning.  But it’s ok, because you are building momentum and credibility for managing money. 

Tell us about your book.

How to Write a Grant: Become a Grant Writing Unicorn.  It’s only been out 3 weeks and has already gotten to #1 bestseller status for nonprofit fundraising and grants.  When people sign up for my free mini-course, I do send them a link to my secret freebie page that I’m always updating with new resources like budget templates, meeting agendas, etc.

What does freedom mean to you?

I live in Alaska in a tiny house on a lake overlooking the newly snow-capped mountains.  I can walk 100 yards to my office, and we have fiber internet.  I love that I can help people make a bigger impact through the work they are doing, but I love that I can do it from a place where I don’t have to choose between a career or life – they are seamlessly integrated.  That is the ultimate definition of freedom to me.

To connect with Meredith Noble, email mnoble@senworks.org or check out her website, learngrantwriting.org.  You can also go to  Geeks in the Woods to learn more about the Work Life Experiment Pioneering in Alaska.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap

Interested in joining the Nonprofit Executive Club?  Check out nonprofitexecutiveclub.com 

Episode 130 | The 6 Key Components of a Successful Home Fundraiser

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This time of year, the weather starts to get chilly, the leaves begin to turn, and we start thinking about the upcoming holidays.  People enjoy spending time together in this season and it’s a great time to invite folks into your home for an intimate fundraiser.  You don’t have to put on huge fundraising events in order to be successful; fundraisers held in someone’s home can be just as successful as hosting a big event.  In a couple of days, I’m gearing up for a fundraiser where only a couple dozen people will attend.  What’s exciting about it, is that it has the six key components every fundraiser should have which include:  the location, guest list, agenda, materials, the ask, and follow-up.

When you start thinking about a home fundraiser, the first element to consider is location.  Location is critical because if people don’t want to come to your location it doesn’t matter how good the cause is or how good you are, they aren’t going to come.  Think about someone who is a supporter of your organization who has a beautiful home, who also has the gift of hospitality.  All it takes is calling up the person, and saying, “hey, we’re thinking about hosting something this fall/beginning of the year, would you ever be interesting in opening up your home for a gathering?” The point of this call is not to iron out all the logistics, it’s just to get their opinion and gauge their interest.

Once you have your location confirmed, start looking at the calendar to determine a date.  Obviously, we want to avoid any major holidays.  The three days of the week I think work the best when it comes to home events/meetings/gatherings are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays with a 7PM start time.  From here, it’s time to start thinking about your guest list.  When you begin thinking about who to invite, you want your guests to know at least one or two other people they would be excited to see.  This is why I like to start with a few key people who I’d like this fundraiser to revolve – these are the people in the room who make other people want to come.  Example, if you have an honorary chairperson who everyone loves, this is the person you should reach out to in the very beginning BEFORE securing the date and time.  You need to hand select that first group and let them know that they are hand-picked and make them feel special for being so.

Next on the list is the agenda.  How are you going to plan out the time your guests are going to be in this person’s home?  What kind of experience do you want to create?  Let’s say your event has a 7PM start time, by 7:30 you should start gathering everyone together to hear about the cause and the details about the work being done.  You want to start off with the host or hostess saying a few words of welcome.  This is also a good time for them to share a testimonial.  Then, they introduce you and/or a beneficiary of your organization; this is another face to give credibility to the work you do. 

The fourth key component to your fundraiser is materials.  This should be a one-pager that includes a response form on the sheet.  It should be a visual representation of what you are saying, such as we need financial help to support a specific part of your cause and then they can see what you need and how they can come in and help.  After you share the information about all the great work you’re doing, it’s time to move on to the ask.

Number five is the actual ask.  What’s the point of hosting a fundraiser if you don’t ask for money?  Knowing who is going to make the ask is critical.  You want someone who is dynamic and not afraid to flat out say here’s how you can be a part of this.  Sometimes it’s the executive director and sometimes it’s the development director; it could even be the host or hostess. The main thing is adding credibility back to the presenter or main speaker.  The speaker needs to share ways to get engaged and then pass the torch to the person who is going to do the asking. 

The sixth component is the follow-up.  So often, we put on fundraisers and don’t do the follow-up.  This is your opportunity to reach out to the people who were invited, regardless if they were unable to attend or not.  For those who attended, you want to thank them for attending and review how the event went.  For those who couldn’t make it, this is where you say, “we’re so sorry we missed you and let’s find a time to connect.”  For both, this is an opportunity to get your message out there as well as get everyone engaged in some way, especially for those who requested more information on their response cards from your materials.  If you’re not going to do the follow-up, you’ve just wasted your time and money putting on an event.

Home events are a great way to engage your donors or prospective donors.  Don’t get discouraged if you only have a few people attend, or if someone says it’s not a good fit, etc.  You just keep moving forward and inviting people and having the conversations.  Now that you’ve got my tips go book something!

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap

Interested in joining the Nonprofit Executive Club?  Check out nonprofitexecutiveclub.com 

Episode 129 | Pricing is Positioning with Paul Klein

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On today’s show, I’m talking with Paul Klein, who has moved through the business world into consulting.  Paul’s story is a very common one, he worked in the corporate world for 18 years and around the age of 40, realized how unhappy he had become and decided to make a change.  Although he was experiencing a very successful career, he felt unfulfilled and miserable and just couldn’t take it anymore.  Fast forward 9 years and he’s started three successful businesses generating well over 6 figure incomes with no debt.

What is the process for someone who wants to price out their products or services?

Most people don’t value their expertise.  However, what’s common to you may be gold to someone else.  And it’s not about trying to pull one over on people and charge an exorbitant amount of money.  It’s more about finding that win-win so that you have high value for yourself and great value to your client. Another component is determining whether or not you and the client will be a good fit with each other.  If your services are not a good fit – you get so much more credibility by referring them to someone who is.

Once there is a revenue plan in place, how do you coach people on who to invite into the cause?

Whether it’s in for-profit or nonprofit, the answer is the same.  At the end of the day, donors are seeking outcomes.  If someone is going to make a donation to a cause, they want to know what the end result is.  What is the value?  How many lives are you going to change?  You have to make a tangible connection between the results and the outcomes. 

Why do you think people undervalue themselves?

It goes back to what’s common to us; if you see a really great guitar player, you may think that talent is a rare find but to that guitar player, it’s what they do every day, so they see it as common.  In the pre-Internet society (and still today), there was a common belief that the harder, or worse, a job is the more you should get paid.  We associate something that is difficult with charging more or making more money, but this just isn’t the case.  As buyers, we buy outcomes not time – we want results and value, not how much time it takes. 

When you tell people don’t sell your hours, what are trying to get them to understand about the work they are doing?

It all comes back to value.  In the nonprofit space, you can’t really put a dollar amount on something that is valuable.  And value is so subjective – what’s valuable to you is totally different than what’s valuable to someone else.  You have to focus on the value and the outcomes of the organization or cause.  It’s great if your donors have a good experience, but the deeper meaning is that that we are impacting lives or making a change. 

As a businessman, what have you seen nonprofits doing well?

The most effective organizations I’ve seen have adapted to the new knowledge economy and the new environment we’re in.  Pre-Internet is over – we can’t market through snail mail and phone calls anymore.  The organizations that have effective online marketing, content marketing, and bringing people in through workshops is where’s it’s at. 

Can you help demystify the businessperson for my audience?

It’s not good to stereotype any group, but the overall majority of businesspeople I know who work in the Fortune 500 companies, are good, loving people who want to help but they are very busy.  Make a connection with them and make it easy – here’s our cause, here are the donations needed, here are the lives we’re going to affect.  Simple is always better.  Don’t overwhelm them with facts and figures – just provide the basics.  And, don’t have the stench of desperation. 

Tell us more about your podcast.

The podcast is called Pricing is Positioning and it’s geared toward freelancers and consultants who want to charge more based on value.  I just hit 38 episodes and I’ve had some great guests – Mike Kim being one of them.  You can find it at pricingispositioning.com or my website paulklein.net

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap

Interested in joining the Nonprofit Executive Club?  Check out nonprofitexecutiveclub.com 

Episode 128 | How to Build a Strong Board with Mary Hiland

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On today’s show, I interview Mary Hiland with Hiland Consulting.  Mary has been involved with nonprofit organizations for more than 40 years.  She went from volunteer to staff to executive director.  Mary led two mergers of her nonprofit with 530 staff and has worked with budgets ranging from $100,000-$26 million. Mary is now a consultant and coach for nonprofit leaders and their boards.

What are some of the challenges executive directors face with their boards?

Nonprofits do not orient board members.  In a recent survey, 75% of the board members said in terms of understanding governing, they really didn’t get oriented into what that meant.  The challenge with that is that the executive director is not in a place to teach the board what their roles and responsibilities are.  Board members need to understand the why of what they are there to do and why they are so important to the nonprofit they serve.  Board recruitment is another area where there are a lot of challenges – finding the people you need and want.  And of course, board diversity is also a challenge.

What are the keys to building a powerful executive to board member relationship?

  1. Capacity – good executive directors have onboarded/oriented board members.
  2. Connection – the relationships between the executive director and the board members, the relationships among the board members, and all of those players and their relationships with the external world.
  3. Culture – the successful board (and nonprofits) have a culture of abundance.  Mindset is about the positive things, so they don’t have negative beliefs holding them back.  

When you come across boards that are struggling, what do you see that’s not working?

The relationship between the board chair and the executive director is so important.  In a recent study, when board chairs were asked what they felt qualified them to be the board chair, 51% of them answered nothing.  There was nothing that prepared them to be the board chair.  The leadership on the board determines the success of the board; the leadership/recruitment of the board chair and it’s other members must be nurtured.  If the executive is the most important leader in the nonprofit, then the board chair is the second – he or she can stall the board for their entire term.  This leads back to the initial orientation of the board chair – did they know their role and responsibility? It is your job as the staff to make that volunteer look really good and shine.   

You don’t have to have an entire board that interested in fundraising.  That’s when you start creating committees made up of members who are interested in fundraising, or other areas like mission, advocacy, etc.  All of this should be driven by your strategic goals – where you are going, what you are trying to accomplish, and who are the champions you need.  

Do you have a resource for people looking for board development?

I recommend people to look at podcasts because they are free and there is a lot of good advice out there.  I also recommend two books:  Group Alchemy:  The Six Elements of Highly Successful Collaboration by Deborah Pruitt, which is very practical and discusses how to have an effective work group; and Nonprofit Sustainability  by Jeanne Bell, Jan Masaoka, and Steve Zimmerman has a model for having conversations about how you make decisions about money with your mission in mind and do it in a way that really works.  

What does fundraising freedom mean to you?

I think it means empowerment, feeling like I can make a contribution personally and I can help others make a contribution.  I am empowered to both invest in and attract investment in the causes that I care about because this is how we connect with each other and have meaning in our own lives. 

Connect with Mary Hiland at mary@hilandconsulting.org or hilandconsulting.org.  You can also find her podcast, Inspired Nonprofit Leadership, on iTunes.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap.

Interested in joining the Nonprofit Executive Club?  Check out nonprofitexecutiveclub.com

Episode 127 | Is Motivation Garbage?

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If you’re anything like me, you love good motivation.  We’re told we need to motivate our teams, our volunteers, ourselves, but is it actually garbage?  The definition of motivation is the desire or willingness to do something.  Motivation Garbage comes from Mel Robins and her book The 5 Second Rule.  She says motivation is garbage because if we wait to feel motivation that we will never get anything done.  Her 5 second rule says count backward 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and just do it.  It counters your brain from feeling scared.  Moving forward and taking action is what helps you accomplish your goals, not waiting for the time you’re going to actually feel motivated.

Our own motivation to get something done comes from the reason or the “why” you’ve set specific goals.  Once you’ve determined your reason, you will naturally feel more compelled to get it done.  Staying actively surrounded with things that are going to help you get to that next place will make a huge difference.  I’ve been listening to Zig Ziglar and I recently found one of his books while I was moving, See You at the Top.  He’s such a great storyteller and knows how to really connect the dots.  He mentions frequently about listening to things repeatedly, and when you do you are much more likely to take action and to make things happen.  The more you rinse and repeat, the more your dopamine receptors are engaged – this can last anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days.  Maybe you’ve gone to hear a speaker at a conference, and you’re all fired up and ready to get to work but then you find yourself not getting anything done so you go back and listen to another speaker to find that high from before. And still, you get nothing done.  The problem in this scenario is you can search externally for all the motivation in the world, but you still MUST take action.  

You’re trying to put on that fundraiser and raise those dollars and you’re motivated to do it, but then reality kicks in and your day to day schedule comes into play and demands your time and attention.  Your motivation begins to wane because your focus is scattered everywhere.  This is when you have to come back to your why and find that internal motivation, rather than external, to help you stay the course.

Any big goal is going to take time, so you have to be able to wake up every day and stay focused.  You have to trick your brain and set yourself up for success by removing the obstacles standing in your way.  Our brains are hardwired to protect us, and when they detect something that is unfamiliar or uncomfortable, it’s hard for us to reach outside that comfort zone.  This is why it’s so important to remind yourself that you are in control of your decisions and actions.  Try using the 5 second rule in your life this week to get tasks marked off your list.  The perfect moment to get something done does not exist, so you might as well take that moment right now.

For missionaries or ministry leaders go check out fullyfundedacademy.com, nonprofitexecutiveclub.com for nonprofit leaders.  For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap.

Episode 126 | 7 Questions to Ask Yourself To Harness Your Zone of Genius

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Your Zone of Genius is the intersection of your interests, passions and skills and ultimately result in your superpower or your zone of genius. On today’s show we tackle the 7 questions to ask yourself to harness your zone of genius. To start let’s review the four main operating zones as described in Gay Hendricks book, The Big Leap –  https://amzn.to/2TBLYFw .

  1. Zone of Incompetence – Working in an area that you don’t understand and have no skills (fundraising, event planning, etc.)
  2. Zone of Competence – An area that your efficient in, but so are others (thank you cards, mailings, emails, social media, organizing calls, travel, etc.)
  3. Zone of Excellence – the area where you are very skilled. You’ve worked in this space and have mastered your craft.
  4. Zone of Genius – The area where you shine and is most effortless. This is the area that you feel especially gifted in. Others don’t pick up on it as easy as you do. You gain energy and inspiration from doing this work.

Here are the 7 questions to ask yourself to harness your zone of genius…

  1. Are you willing to set aside 10 minutes a day to cultivate your zone of genius? (journaling, prayer, meditation, vision board, affirmations, etc.)
  2. Why do you do the work you do?
  3. What part of your job doesn’t seem like work?
  4. What part of your work makes you feel really good?
  5. What is your unique ability?
  6. What comes most naturally to you?
  7. What would it look like to way up everyday and work in your zone of genius?

After you’ve identified how to harness your zone of genius here are the three action steps you should take with your results.

  1. DO
  2. DELEGATE (to a human/automate to a system)
  3. DUMP

What will you do, delegate and dump?
For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com, to download our free roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap and to join THE Club for nonprofit executives, visit nonprofitexecutiveclub.com

Episode 125 | The One Thing I Did to Make My Dream Home a Reality and How I Used The Same Thing to Raise Millions

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Over the last two years, my husband and I have been in the process of building our dream home.  It all started when I did this one thing…I made a decision!  To make a decision means you’re cutting off all other options to achieve your goal/dream.  For me, I wrote a personal check to myself for $250,000 and hung it on the refrigerator.  I told my husband that I was going to will that money into our bank account no matter what.  He looked at the check and the ball started to roll – he immediately thought of all the ways we could spend that money – if you can’t tell, I’m the saver and he’s the spender.  

Within a few days of that check being on the refrigerator, my husband reached out and called an architect.  We’d always wanted to build a modern home but thought we would buy one rather than build.  However, we hadn’t had any luck finding just the right home for us as well as one we could actually afford.  The great thing was, that in our search for what we didn’t want, we were able to find clarity on what we did want.  And it all came back to making the decision that we were going to do something; to move forward.

If you’ve read my book, you know that the seven steps are based on the word F.R.E.E.D.O.M.  which is what I’ve used do to all of my fundraising and I used the exact same process to build our dream home.  Once we made the decision, it came back to focusing our vision.  So often, we struggle with not knowing what we want.  We don’t put it on paper, we don’t live it out as if it’s already happened because our inner peanut gallery starts to take over with the “this will never be a reality and will never happen” and kills the dream.  Focusing the vision is where I start with all my fundraising – I give numbers, I make a decision.    

When I built out my million-dollar fundraiser, I immediately wrote out that one million dollars and I talked about it all the time.  I made the decision that we were going to raise one million dollars by recruiting the right people to come around me to make sure that those dollars came to life.  To get what you want, you have to make a clear, definitive decision and don’t stop until you get what you want.  My challenge to you right now is if there is something you want, you have to be obsessive about it.  

Once I uncovered a potential build site for our house, I would drive to it and sit and stare at the grass.  I prayed that if this is what God wants for us to show us the way.  I journaled over it and wrote out my vision in its entirety.  This is the exact same process I use when starting a fundraiser.  I spend a lot of time journaling, putting stuff up on my dry erase board, and building clarity around what needs to happen to make everything work.  For the house, we started our research by talking to people – home builders, architects, general contractors, etc. to find out what it would take; what we would need to do to make this happen.  As this applies to you and your fundraising, you do your research and decide who you want to bring on board to be your core team.  Now, you’re going to start building out the branding or the blueprint.

After you have figured out the blueprint, sometimes you run into issues or areas you need make changes.  Maybe your volunteers flake out or your donors don’t say yes.  We start digging in and we end up digging up stuff, but this is what helps make the fundraiser stronger.  It helps move the needle and keeps us moving forward.  At this point, you’re in – the house is being built, the event is happening.  You have to have crazy belief that no matter what happens, you will figure it out.  There are times when you’ll think it’s not going to work out, but when you have momentum in your corner, you can absolutely get it done.  

Whenever you’re building something, there are always going to be issues.  That’s when we have to make sure we’re patient with the process, that we’re flexible as we move forward and know that in the end, it will all be worth it.  Once you’ve executed the plan and gotten what you want, the next step is to celebrate.  Then you get to dream about the next thing you want to build.  The great part is, you now have all this knowledge and can start to think about how you can take the thing, whatever it is, to the next level.  

In the end, the final product was one hundred times greater than my original vision – for the house as well as my past fundraisers.  I pushed through my self-doubt and fears and was able to create this thing for myself that is so much greater than my dream.  You have to believe in yourself and know that you have every tool inside you to see your dream/vision come to fruition.  You don’t have to know everything today to make your dream a reality.  You just have to know you have a vision and have made a decision.

Before you move on to the next thing in your day, pause right now and say, “I decide _________.”  And then do it.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap. For more details about the Nonprofit Executive Club, visit nonprofitexecutiveclub.com.

Episode 124 | How I Raised More Than $500,000 In Less Than 3 Months with No Printed Invitations and Only 50 Guests

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I modeled this fundraiser off of a conference I recently attended.  The conference felt so special and exclusive and that’s how I wanted the guests to feel at this fundraiser.  I always want every person – donors, staff members, and volunteers alike – to feel special and like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

I wanted to create a fundraiser that was a little more low-key but felt very extraordinary.  The guestlist was extremely exclusive, only 100 guests were invited, and we ended up with 50 people.  We didn’t do any printed invitations, all we did was a 1-pager that highlighted the guest speakers, explained the fundraiser, and listed the sponsor.  We also had a link to the event via a hidden page on the main website.  The organization has well over 1000 people who work for the organization, but very few knew about the fundraiser because it was so exclusive.  Guests registered on the link and were also asked to provide the name of who nominated them.  At the event, attendees were allowed to speak on an issue that is near and dear to their hearts.  This event was specifically a major gift, high-level executive fundraiser.  

I opened a private Facebook group a week before the event and invited everyone in who was a guest of this event.  This afforded everyone an opportunity to get to know each other and figure out who they wanted to meet in these two days.  

Friday night was the welcome reception.  The majority of people were not local – but Facebookallowed them to engage with each other before the event.  Once everyone came in that night,they didn’t want to leave. 

The next two days were all about opening up conversations to start building relationships.  The one thing their conversations all had in common was how intentional they are about their giving, their family values, and the things they were doing.  

On the second day, we made the ask.  We asked them if they would consider giving to the cause.  It wasn’t a high-pressure ask; the purpose was to invite them in.  The whole time we were together we discussed how they could use their giftings to advance the work of our cause and how they could take it to the next level.

The third day was a time of prayer and ministering to the guests.  It was so special because they don’t get this in their daily lives.  By the time everyone walked out of the room, everyone was ready to take action and make positive changes.  The call to action was “do more” and push yourself to the next level.  

We had 4-figures, 5-figures, and one 6-figure gift come in and that was due to a relationship that has been built over the last two years and that started off with just an introduction that led our organization to becoming their favorite.  

You don’t have to have these huge fundraisers with formal invitations and thousands of guests.  You don’t have to have that to raise significant dollars.  Today’s world we’re living in, people want to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.  Here’s what I want you to take away from my experience: 1. Know what you want.2. Know your audience.3. Take action.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap.

For more details about the Nonprofit Executive Club, visit nonprofitexecutiveclub.com.

Episode 123 | Philanthropic Giving with Arlene Cogen

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Arlene Cogen spent more than 20 years in the trust and investment services industry, and 9 years in non-profit development. She is a sought-after speaker and coach as well as a certified financial planner.  Arlene is also the author of Give to Live:  Make A Charitable Gift You Never Imagined. 

Why is philanthropic giving so important?

People give to causes for so many different reasons. Some have overcome something they never imagined possible. Business owners give because it promotes their business and it shows that they care about their community.  Science has found that when you give away money, it stimulates the prefrontal cortex of your brain, which makes you feel joy.  We help people self-actualize through giving.

What do you see nonprofits doing well to attract people?

Nonprofits are passionate about their work and do amazing things.  The best ones are excellent storytellers – they get out and interview recipients of their work and show the actual impact they’ve had in the community.  

What is holding people back from taking it to the next level with an organization?

People don’t see leadership by the board of directors.  Many organizations let their board off too easily.  The board needs to lead by example in helping raise funds, “I’ve given, join me.” Donors like to know that all the board members have given.  Also, nonprofit leaders need to look generationally, meaning how each generation decides to give away their money.  The older generations come in as successful people with more money to give, but millennials give differently and want to have an experience before giving.  Fundraising is like sales. What’s in it for the donor? Do they know, like and trust you? You have to ask. 

What is it about being a certified planner that gets you excited?

Credibility – do they know, like, and trust you?  

Why did you decide you wanted to write a book?

Born out of 20 years of trust and investment work and 10 years of working with nonprofit organizations, I wanted to break down my knowledge into bite-sized pieces so people could digest the information easier and so it’s available to everyone.  I want people to understand that it’s not just about the affluent. Next to your spouse, the most powerful person to your donations is your financial planner.  The book is a great tool to hand donors so they can begin to make gifts they never imagined.  

If you feel like giving is out of your range, what is your advice on getting started?

The first thing you should do as a fundraiser is to make a charitable gift to your organization, which goes back to the “I’ve given, join me.”  Also, a large amount of people who modestly give goes a long way when you have a lot of people invested in the work you’re doing.  If the senior leaders/executives aren’t giving to their organizations, then there’s something wrong.  Those people should not be serving in your top leadership roles.  You want A+ volunteers in your top leadership because they will bring in A+ volunteers.  The same goes for giving.  If you have C and D level board members, they aren’t going to bring in A+ level philanthropic givers.  

What do you want nonprofits to know about philanthropists?  What could change things?

Philanthropists want to give and it’s yours to lose.  They want to give and make a difference.  Connect their values with your values and steward them greatly.

Parting advice?

Development and nonprofit executives really need to meet with their donors.  Donors have a lot to say and share and too often we leave it to development staff and volunteers.  The more you can connect with your donors, the more they will give.  And if the executives don’t know how to ask, they need to bring someone along who does.  Or, take fundraising courses to understand how to do it.  If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.

You can purchase Arlene’s book, Give to Live:  Make A Charitable Gift You Never Imagined, on Amazon.  To receive the last chapter and reflection workbook, email Arlene at arlene@arlenecogen.com or visit arlenecogen.com.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit  maryvalloni.com  and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to  maryvalloni.com/roadmap.  

Episode 122 | Effective Stewardship with David Baker

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David Baker is a recovering lawyer who has provided comprehensive fund development services to nonprofits, social service agencies, churches, and libraries for over 20 years. David has raised hundreds of millions of dollars through major gift efforts. He has consulted with organizations in California, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Utah, Arkansas and more for capital and endowment campaigns, comprehensive fundraising efforts, planned giving, development professional recruitment and coaching, charitable interest assessments (aka feasibility studies) and board training.

What is stewardship?

Stewardship is basically doing the donor right by how we treat them.  The problem is when you’re a smaller organization, stewardship tends to get dropped.  But you can’t go from a $25 one-time gift to an entire estate without the stuff in between.  Instead of taking a transactional view with people, stewardship is about honoring the person and treating them as a human, not an ATM.  Organizations need to develop a bigger process than just thanking donors and sending them information.  

What is a planned gift?

A planned gift is literally a gift that requires planning.  What’s the state of the family? Are there tax consequences? Is there a charitable interest?  You need to determine the donor’s needs as well as the charity’s needs so it’s a win for everyone.  

What is the most ideal situation to go from the $25 to a planned gift?  

1. Celebration – acknowledge and thank your donor.

2. Impact communication – meaning NO newsletters, because no one wants another newsletter.  Rather, tell stories.  There are 3 stories you should tell:  the staff/board story, the donor story, and the story of those you serve (all focused on outcomes).

3. Invitation – what can you invite them into?  Do you need intellectual capital?  You want them to see the organization’s mission in action. Example:  David worked with a major donor who gave a modest 4-figure gift that also involved giving away books to children.  He was invited to the book giveaway event and he helped hand the books to the kids, some of who said it was the only book they had ever owned.  After the event, the donor said the experience was the most meaningful thing he’d ever done. That simple invitation was all it took for him to be hooked – he got to see impact right away.

4. Personalization – acknowledge your donor’s previous gift rather than generic appeals for the next gift.

5. Empathy – the process can’t just be about money and estates.  It requires heavy relationship building with the families.  The process could start with a birthday card, knowing when the kids leave for college, or maybe there is a death in the family.  As you build relationships, you’ll know when these life events occur, and you’ll begin to track and acknowledge them.

How can we use databases to our advantage?

It starts with an audit conversation.  What are you doing now and what do you actually need that you haven’t been able to do?  Online giving; how does it tie to the database?  How simple are the gift forms? Then you put a system in place that includes workflows.  The system should track your campaign, data points you want to capture, and the reports you want to generate.  Your reports will only be as good as the data that is entered; you should hire someone to serve in this realm.  

David and his team use Salesforce, which is free to begin with up to 10 users. Example: David and his wife purchased a mattress online and after the purchase received a barrage of emails and calls about purchasing a new mattress. The mattress company’s own system didn’t know that he’d already bought one.  It’s no different with donors – when donors receive impersonal generic asks for money, they feel that the organization doesn’t even know what they’ve already done.  This is why it’s vital to keep good records of your donor information.  NEVER JUST THANK AND ASK AGAIN.

What does fundraising freedom mean to you?  

When you can start seeing your donors as people and they know you – this is where the freedom comes from.  Getting to the point where you get long gains takes work, but it’s totally worth it and a lot of fun!

For more information about David Baker, go to givingdesign.com.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap

Episode 121 | Enneagram and Intentionality with Teresa McCloy

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Culture in the U.S. is driven by success and the Enneagram teaches that every type has a driver/motivator.  

Teresa McCloy has been married to her husband Dale for 36 years and live on a 3rd generation family grain farm in Central Illinois. Now that she’s living and leading her passion, the joy has returned to her everyday, ordinary REALIFE! It continues to be a process and she wants you to feel the joy too.

Learning Points from This Episode:

Explanation of the Enneagram

The Enneagram is a drawing of 9 different personality styles, or a map, to guide and lead us to name our story and be aware of how the story is moving authentically through the styles.  

The 9 types include:

  1. Reformer:  Rational, principles, self-controlled
  2. Helper:  Caring, generous, possessive
  3. Achiever:  Adaptable, ambitious, image-conscious
  4. Individualist:  Intuitive, aesthetic, self-absorbed
  5. Investigator:  Perceptive, innovative, detached
  6. Loyalist:  Engaging, responsible, defensive
  7. Enthusiast:  Upbeat, accomplished, impulsive
  8. Challenger:  Self-confident, decisive, domineering
  9. Peacemaker:  Receptive, reassuring, complacent

REALIFE Process®: This is a 5-step system to help people live their life intentionally.

5 steps of intentionality include:

  1. What do you want to be moving towards?
  2. What are your values?
  3. How do you manage that in time on your calendar?
  4. How do you take a sabbath day/how do you have fun in your life?
  5. How do you do you review and start all over again?

We can’t do everything, but we can choose the things that are the most important.  What in the next 90 days are the 1-3 things you want to move forward in business and personal life?  Look at these as projects instead of goals – only do 3 big bucket projects in 90 days.  Ask yourself, what do I value?  What do I want to see on my calendar?  It’s not practical to tackle everything at once.  You may have 12 projects that need to get done but breaking them down into bite-sized pieces makes the projects more manageable.  

How do you mix Enneagram with REALIFE Process®?

If you get to know yourself through daily/weekly examinations, you can make decisions and move forward.  We’re more than our type, we’re connected with our head, heart, and gut.  

Centers of Intelligence: 

  • 8,9,1: Instinctual center (gut) – honest, direct, make decisions this way
  • 2,3,4: Feeling center (heart) – are we taking care of our people?  Image conscious, how are others perceiving me.  “This is how I feel about that…”
  • 5,6,7:  Thinking center (head) – process through careful planning and taking action, worry about things, gather information about things.  

Once we discover which we are, we can learn how we connect with the other centers and figure out how to access more of the others.  

Enneagram is about how to identify and understand yourself.  It’s how you process information as well as how you see the world; the “tape that’s playing in your head.”  

  • Gut center says, “I’ve had enough, not done enough”
  • Heart center says, “I’m not enough, I must prove I’m enough”
  • Head center says, “I won’t have enough, because I don’t have enough information.”

How can someone in nonprofit/business use this?  

When presenting information to others, many times we do it through our own lens, not realizing we’re leaving out 2/3 of the people.  Who is my audience?  Need more info?  Make quick decisions?  Want to make sure you appeal to all three centers.  The Enneagram isn’t about manipulating others, it’s learning how to really love other people well as well as how we relate to others.

Parting wisdom: every ordinary day has extraordinary moments and we just have to look for them.  Don’t miss the moments.

You can listen to Teresa McCloy on her podcast: Enneagram in Your Real Life, join one of her free social media groups, or go to teresamccloy.com for more information.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap.

Episode 120 | Strategic Planning with Joel Kessel

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Today’s guest is my dear friend and new business partner, Joel Kessel.

I love talking strategy and in this episode Joel shares his 8-Steps to a successful strategic plan including:

Step 1 ==> Plan-To-Plan

Step 2 ==> Environmental Scan

Step 3 ==> Ideal Future Vision

Step 4 ==> Current State Assessment

Step 5 ==> Areas of Focus

Step 6 ==> Performance Measures and Targets

Step 7 ==> Tactics

Step 8 ==> Plan-To-Implement

We also share all the details to our brand NEW program, the Nonprofit Executive Club!

To find out more about Joel, visit https://www.kesselstrategies.com/nonprofit/ <http://kesselstrategies.com/nonprofit> and to join the Nonprofit Executive Club, visit https://www.nonprofitexecutiveclub.com.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to http://maryvalloni.com/roadmap

Episode 119 | 5 Ways to Enjoy the Journey Towards Your Fundraising Goal

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In today’s episode we address the very common desire to want to jump right to our final destination. Of course we want to raise those funds fast, but we just might miss the best part…the journey!

Mary shares how to enjoy the journey by doing the following 5 things: 

1. Travel with people you like.

2. Pay attention to the sites and sounds that surround you.

3. Listen to good music, podcasts, and audiobooks.

4. Eat good food and take in the conversations.

5. Stop along the way.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to http://maryvalloni.com/roadmap

Episode 118 | What Every Nonprofit Needs to Know About Social Media with Lauren Davis

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Today’s episode features social media expert, small business owner, and nonprofit executive director, Lauren Davis.

Lauren lives close to Chicago in Rockford, Illinois, but works with people around the world to overcome their personal branding discontent and grow their presence so that they can focus on sales, exposure, leadership and community impact.

She was named one of the 20 People You Should Know in 2013 by the Rockford Illinois Chamber of Commerce, one of the Register Star (Gatehouse Media’s) “People to Watch” in 2018, a “Face of Tourism” by her city in 2017, an “Up Next” future leader in 2019 by the Register Star (Gatehouse Media) and has received Senate recognition for her passionate dedication to her local business community.

Lauren is the executive director of Winnebago Buy Local, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect local businesses together to collaborate and bring the community closer to them, creating raving fans.

Learning Points From This Episode:

What’s Working?  
Lauren shares that Instagram is up to 1 billion users and 60% of those users make 6-figures and 83% share they are discovering new brands, products, organizations on Instagram. She shares the importance of participating with your audience on every social media platform you choose to use.  Think of comments like a digital handshake – comments show you are an actual human being.  

For Instagram, consider posting 4 times a week and 6 to 8 stories a day; for Facebook, post 6 days a week, stories every day.  
Share with your audience – What is your organization doing?  Why is it important?  What is your mission?  Do you have any personal stories about how your work is affecting others?  What can you do to create a FOMO (fear of missing out) experience?  

Lauren recommends having your hashtag readily available so that when people post they can tag your organization. A hashtag is literally a search tool to see what people are saying about you and your cause. Your hashtag needs to be easy to remember, short if possible, and unique to you.  

What’s NOT Working (Social Media Misses):

  1. The marketing team/intern will schedule a bunch of posts with CTAs (calls to action) and then never touch it again. Lauren recommends spending at least 30 minutes a day responding and liking other people’s pages/posts. Perpetual motion is key. Find a volunteer who is already on social media who can help keep up with it – they also need to understand and value the importance of cultivating relationships. A marketing person who understands the basic level of relationships is worth paying for.  
  2. It doesn’t matter how many times you are posting if people don’t care about the content. The purpose of having an online presence is to build your community and make new connections. This is how you get more contacts. Post stories that inspire as well as highlight what your organization is doing, meaning you’re doing the work you say you’re doing, which translates into using donor dollars wisely.  
  3. Recognize the businesses that support your cause by going above and beyond on social media to recognize people/organizations who have donated. This is a missed opportunity if you don’t use social media to recognize your donors.

For more information about Lauren Davis, follow her on instagram at @ldaviscreative or visit laurendaviscreative.com

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to maryvalloni.com/roadmap.

Episode 117 – What Breaks Your Heart and How Can You Use That to Raise Funds

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Today we may get a bit emotional, but as you know emotions are important especially when raising funds for your cause. 

In this episode we tackle 3 important questions (that I totally stole from my friend, Mike!). 

They include:

1. What Pisses You Off? (The Injustice)

2. What Breaks Your Heart? (The Compassion)

3. What is the Big Problem You Are Trying to Solve? (Your Cause)

I also shared about the new “Club” I’m launching with my friend, Joel. If you’re interested in being a part of the first group, email me at mailto:mary@maryvalloni.com and tell me you want in! I’ll give you all the details to get started!

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to http://maryvalloni.com/roadmap

Episode 116 | How to Address the Elephant in the Room and Master Your Marketing with Mike Kim

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Marketing expert, Mike Kim, joins the show to address what’s working and what’s not in nonprofit marketing.

Find out why you need to address the elephant in the room and how to do that by addressing these 3 P’s…

1. Potential

2. Promise

3. Progress

Most people are willing to give you a hand up as long as you show potential, promise and progress.

Mike also shares a few of his magic words that you should add to your future emails and print copy.

RESOURCES: 

To join Mike and Mary for their FREE 5-session bootcamp, register at http://bitly.com/fullyfundedbootcamp.

To download Mike’s free support letter, go to  https://mikekim.com/missions/ and to check out his podcast, visit https://mikekim.com/show

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com, to download our free roadmap, go to http://maryvalloni.com/roadmap and to join our Fundraising Freedom community on Facebook, find us at http://facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 115 | The #1 Thing Holding You Back From Growth

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Some of us have an easier time than others, but the same thing holds us all back from growth and it comes back to…TRUST.

It’s for good reason that our guard goes up especially if you really care about your cause. So how do we overcome our trust issues. 

These four things will help:

1. Enlist team members who are more skilled at the job than you.

2. Expect success and don’t assume people will let you down or quit.

3. Address problems and conflict head on.

4. Don’t put your trust in people, put your trust in the end result – your vision.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to download our free Fundraising Freedom Roadmap, go to http://maryvalloni.com/roadmap

Episode 114 | How to Create a Winning Sponsorship Packet

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It is common to assume that our potential donors know exactly how they can give and serve our causes. But could you imagine if you walked into a restaurant, sat down at a table, and the waiter or waitress never gave you a menu? I’m sure you’d be annoyed and frustrated and probably wouldn’t come back, which is exactly what your donors are doing.

Our prospective donors need us to tell them how they can help and the best way we can do that is by creating a winning sponsorship packet. Whether you’re raising funds for operating expenses, a project like a building campaign, or a fundraising event a sponsorship, often called a case document, is essential. 

We talk through the essential components of the packet found on page 75 of my book, Fundraising Freedom, in addition to how you can use the FREEDOM Steps to build out that winning packet. Ask yourself the following questions as you create your winning sponsorship packet.

1. Focus Your Vision – What do you have to offer?

2. Run Your Research – Who are your potential sponsors?

3. Enlist Your Team – Who would say yes (make a list)?

4. Enhance Your Brand – What do you need in your packet?

5. Deploy Your Team – Who can schedule the appointment? 

6. Organize Your Ask – What questions do you need to ask to find out if they are a good fit?

7. Make Your Difference – What did you provide that warrants your sponsor giving again? 

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com, to download our free roadmap, go to http://maryvalloni.com/roadmap and to join our Fundraising Freedom community on Facebook, find us at http://facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 113 – Is Cold-Calling a Good Idea?

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Most nonprofit and ministry leaders are determined to fund their mission and often wonder if they are doing everything they possibly can to raise funds, which leads to the question…”Is cold-calling a good idea?”

In today’s episode we talk through the most efficient way to cold-call and how to add warm-calls to your marketing efforts.

We also dig into interruption marketing and Seth Godin’s permission marketing to discuss how we can connect with potential donors the way they prefer.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com, to download our free roadmap, go to http://maryvalloni.com/roadmap and to join our Fundraising Freedom community on Facebook, find us at http://facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 112 | How to Use Your Strengths to Fundraise

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In today’s episode we jump in and look at how we’re uniquely equipped to raise funds using our specific strengths. 

We talk through the four stages of competence by Martin M. Broadwell (known as the four levels of teaching) including:

1. Unconscious incompetence

2. Conscious incompetence

3. Conscious competence

4. Unconscious competence

and 

Gay Hendricks four main operating zones from the book, The Big Leap:

1. Zone of Incompetence

2. Zone of Competence

3. Zone of Excellence

4. Zone of Genius

Both of these tools will help you to understand how to use what you do best to raise the funds you need.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our Fundraising Freedom community on Facebook, go to http://facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 111 | The 3 Nonprofit Lies That Need to Die

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In this episode, I can’t help but go after the lies that our charities are believing. 

The three lies that need to die include: 

1. There is only so much money to go around.

2. No one wants to give.

3. People only want to give to projects.

All three of these tap into the lack and scarcity mindset. Listen in to get the action item to kill these lies today! 

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our Fundraising Freedom community on Facebook, go to http://facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 110 | 7 Steps to Sustainability

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In this episode we dig deep into “The Donor’s Journey.” This is the path that every donor, volunteer and staff goes through when they decide whether to link arms with your cause and align themselves with the work you do. 

The 7 Steps include:

1. Know

2. Like

3. Trust

4. Try

5. Give

6. Repeat

7. Refer 

Find out why some people get you and others don’t and lets create sustainability for our causes so you can spend less time recruiting and more time changing lives. 

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our Fundraising Freedom community on Facebook, go to http://facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 109 | 3 Reasons Why It’s Hard to Motivate Board Members to Fundraise

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In this episode we not only talk through the three reasons why it’s hard to motivate your board members (or advisory group), but we also dig in and talk through what you can do to turn things around.  

Here are the resources we talked about on today’s show:

Free webinar training for board members is this Tuesday, March 12th at 1pm CST on the “7 Fundraising Secrets Every Nonprofit Board Member Should Know”, register at http://bit.ly/7boardsecrets

To catch last week’s training on the “7 Proven Strategies to Overcome Fundraising Failure”, watch the recording at bit.ly/7provenstrategies.

To apply for the Spring Class of Fundraising Freedom Academy, go to http://bit.ly/applyforffa

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our Fundraising Freedom community on Facebook, go to http://facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 108 – What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

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“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” -Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company

At 15 years old, Ford left home to become an apprentice and if it’s good enough for Ford it should be good enough for us. Growing and learning from others is an absolute must. On today’s show, I share why it’s so important to surround yourself with the right people who push you outside of your comfort zone. 

To attend my free webinar training on Tuesday, March 5th at 1pm CST on the “7 Proven Strategies to Overcome Fundraising Failure”, register at http://maryvalloni.com/7strategies

To apply for the Spring Class of Fundraising Freedom Academy, go to http://bit.ly/applyforffa

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our Fundraising Freedom community on Facebook, go to facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 107 | How to Get Your Message Heard with Michael Hudson

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Today’s interview is with Dr. Michael Hudson – a speaker, coach, and “idea-junkie” – who wants to help leaders do work that truly matters.

During our time together Michael shares his 3 R’s and gives insight into how we can improve our storytelling so our message not only gets heard, but also get’s repeated.

For more information about Michael Hudson, visit michaelhudson.com.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com. To join our fundraising freedom community on Facebook, go to facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 106 | The 4 Things You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Say

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There are a lot of things that we may be afraid to say, but these are the four we shouldn’t shy away from:

1. “I Don’t Know”

2. “I Made a Mistake”

3. “I Need Help”

4. “I’m Sorry”

In this episode we dive into each one and talk through why they are important to address especially for you and your charity.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit maryvalloni.com. To join our fundraising freedom community on Facebook, go to facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 105 | Begin with the End in Mind

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What do you really want? 

Today’s episode will challenge you to 1.) give your vision language, 2.) use your imagination to mentally create your vision, and 3.) build the plan that will physically create your vision. 

Every vision needs a mission statement. Here’s the template I share to get that mission on paper…

I/We are ________ who (serves/does) ________ so that (results) ________.

For more information about Mary Valloni and Fundraising Freedom Academy, visit maryvalloni.com. To join our fundraising freedom community on Facebook, go to facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is available on Amazon here – https://amzn.to/2E3epXC

Episode 104 | How to Recharge Your Batteries When You Feel Burnt Out

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We’ve all been there where we feel so exhausted and overwhelmed that something has to change. Burnout is often caused by overwork or stress so to recharge our batteries we need to make time to unplug and relax. 

Typical signs and symptoms of burnout include:

1. Failure to take responsibility

2. Abuse of food, drugs or alcohol

3. Irritability and lashing out

4. Absenteeism

5. Procrastination

6. Isolation

We talk through how to address the stress, how to protect your peace, and how to focus on the 80% so you don’t get caught up in the chaos that often leads to burnout. 

For more information about Mary Valloni and Fundraising Freedom Academy, visit maryvalloni.com. To join our fundraising freedom community on Facebook, go to facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 103 | How to Get Corporate Sponsors to Call You with Bridgett Myers

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Bridgett Myers is the Chief Development Officer at FosterAdopt Connect (and Mary’s former boss). Bridgett assumed the new role in January 2018 after serving in executive leadership with the American Cancer Society for 23 years.

Bridget digs in and shares incredible fundraising tips and hiring advice every non-profit executive leader should know. You don’t want to miss out on how she made a few changes in her 2018 signature fundraiser that resulted in 8 new leads and a new $25,000 corporate donor that called and asked if they could sponsor her 2019 event!

To connect with Bridgett or to learn more about her organization, FosterAdopt Connect, visit http://fosteradopt.org.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com. To join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/ and to be considered for Mary’s next class of Fundraising Freedom Academy apply at https://www.fundraisingfreedomacademy.com

Episode 102 | How Should Fundraising Really Work with Jason Lewis

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Today’s episode features CFRE and AFP Master Trainer, Jason Lewis. Known for his willingness to question deeply engrained beliefs and assumptions of how effective fundraising really works, Jason shares his knowledge and expertise in this episode. If you’re interested in hearing how fundraising should really work, then you need to listen in.

Here are some of the questions I asked Jason:

• What is the future of fundraising?

• What do you see that’s NOT working, yet seems to be perpetuated by nonprofits? 

• Imagine you woke up today and you were tasked with raising $100,000. What would you do to raise those funds in the next 12 months?

• What does fundraising freedom mean to you?

• What’s the one thing you want fundraisers to know?

To pick up a copy of Jason’s book, The War For Fundraising Talent, on Amazon, visit https://amzn.to/2T5NDCO or to connect with him on LinkedIn, go to https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonlewis/.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com

To join the Fundraising Freedom Podcast  community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

To apply for Mary’s Fundraising Freedom Academy, go to https://www.fundraisingfreedomacademy.com

Episode 101 | The 3 BIG Takeaways From The Past 100 Episodes of The Show

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After 100 episodes, I’m more committed than ever to your success. In this episode I share my three big takeaways from the past 100 episodes including:

1. I started this podcast with the intention of teaching others how to raise funds, but I ended up learning so much more.

2. Habits are hard to start, but easy to keep.

3. I’ve connected with the listeners of the show in ways I never imagined.

My primary advice as we start the new year is to choose wisely who you will follow this year. Let’s be sure we surround ourselves with good people who will stretch us to new places and push us to the next level.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com. To join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/ and to be considered for Mary’s next class of Fundraising Freedom Academy apply at https://www.fundraisingfreedomacademy.com

Episode 100 | The #1 Thing Holding You Back From Fulfilling Your 2019 Goals

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Today’s episode is the last episode of 2018 and the last episode before a new name change for 2019! Catch the #1 thing holding you back and we’ll talk through the 20 things successful people do to achieve their goals so you’re all set for 2019. The 20 things include…

1. They make time for what they want.

2. If they don’t know how to do something they figure it out – If it’s been done before you can always find a roadmap to get there.

3. They are committed.

4. They don’t give up.

5. They take action.

6. They focus on success and not on the fear of failure.

7. Failure makes them better.

8. They follow a proven plan.

9. They have specific goals with dates and times.

10. They listen to only those who win.

11. They have very few goals with laser focus.

12. They have confidence in themselves.

13. They surround themselves with only amazing people who meet and exceed their goals.

14. They spend time on only the most important tasks.

15. They focus on the infinite game – the vision.

16. They have crazy drive and motivation.

17. They have inspirational goals.

18. They are focused and don’t get distracted easily.

19. They don’t make excuses.

20. They actually go after what they want.

For more information about Mary Valloni and to get weekly email updates, visit http://maryvalloni.com. To join our free fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 99 | The 5 Things Charities Are Doing Really Well

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Instead of focusing on what doesn’t work, let’s talk about what is working! On today’s episode, we talk through 5 things that charities are doing really well this holiday season. We reflect back on episodes 72-77 where we talk about the 6 Principles of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. I share real examples of how you can implement these ideas into your communication as you engage with your donors and volunteers at the end of the year. 

To check out the Junior Achievement/Citi Commercial I mention, go to https://www.ispot.tv/ad/d_6f/citi-progress-makers-junior-achievement. 

To be a part of the 100th episode of the show, send your text or voicemail message with your #1 challenge to achieve your 2019 fundraising goal along with your fundraising questions. Listen in for all the details.

For more information about Mary Valloni and to get her weekly emails, visit http://maryvalloni.com. To join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 98 | The 3 Questions You Should Ask Before You Do Anything

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On today’s podcast we take a trip down memory lane and we look at all the things we’ve wanted. What have you always wanted? Do you want to start a new fundraiser? Build that new building? Pay off debt? 

We address these 3 questions you should ask yourself…

1. What do I want?

2. Why do I want it?

3. How can I get it?

So what do you want and let’s go after it in 2019!

Here are just a few resources we talked about on the show today.

1. Apply by December 14th for my 18-month program, Fundraising Freedom Academy, to create your killer signature fundraiser in 2019 – Apply at http://bit.ly/applyforffa. 

2. Catch the recording of last week’s training on the “7 Year-End Fundraising Secrets Every Nonprofit Should Know” at http://maryvalloni.com/7secrets.

3. Join Eric Eaton, founder of the Knights of Heroes Foundation, and I LIVE on December 11th at 1pm CST for a FREE online training on “How to Start a 6-Figure Charity Fundraiser” – register now at http://maryvalloni.com/webinar. 

For more information about Mary Valloni and to get her weekly resources by email, visit http://maryvalloni.com. To join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 97 | The 3 S’s to Fund and Fuel Your Growth in 2019 with Wealth Advisor, Laura Waller

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Today’s guest is wealth advisor, Laura Waller, with P3 Life Builders where she focuses on helping for profit and nonprofit leaders to live a life of Purpose, Power, and Prosperity.

Listen in as Laura shares the 3 S’s to fund and fuel your growth in 2019 including:

1. State of Mind

2. Story

3. Strategy

To hear more about Laura and to enter in to the Giving Tuesday Giveaway, visit http://www.p3lifeabundance.com

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, December 5th at 1pm and join Mary and nonprofit strategic advisor, Joel Kessel, for the FREE Online Training on the “7 Year-End Fundraising Secrets Every Nonprofit Should Know”. To register, go to https://www.maryvalloni.com/7secrets.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 96 | 10 Ways to Give and Not Take on Giving Tuesday

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A common mistake made on Giving Tuesday is to tell people “It’s Giving Tuesday!” and then ask for their money. Instead of going that route this year, let’s consider giving and not taking by doing one or more of the following…

1. Share helpful resources.

2. Answer donor questions.

3. Showcase your donors with a picture and quote about why they give.

4. Repost or share your donors’ fundraising campaigns and relevant content.

5. Post a FB live thank-you video or email your supporters a personalized thank you video. I recommend checking out Loom – https://www.useloom.com.

6. Provide exclusive access to your board chair or charity Executive Director.

7. Show impact with a story or interview.

8. Show gratitude for your staff, volunteers and donors.

9. Connect donors to each other.

10. On your private FB page, invite your supporters to post and share about their business end-of-the-year promotion.

Good luck on your #GivingTuesday campaign. Update us on your campaign in the Fundraising Freedom Tribe page.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 95 | 25 Ways to Thank Your Donors So They Keep Coming Back

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“Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.” — Oprah Winfrey

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” — Tony Robbins

It’s too easy to accept other people’s generosity without reciprocating the kindness. As we gear up for the largest giving season of the year, we talk through the 25 ways to thank your donors so they keep coming back, including:

1. Say Thank You.

2. Share why you appreciate them. 

3. Do something small, but thoughtful.

4. Give a hug.

5. Demonstrate that they have your full attention by shutting down the distractions.

6. Offer to be there if they ever need someone to run ideas by.

7. Care about what they care about.

8. Encourage them in an area that they’ve mentioned – travel, writing, speaking, teaching, etc.

9. Offer to do something that you know they don’t like to do.

10. Give compliments about their skills and talents.

11. Look them in the eyes and say, “You make the world a better place.”

12. Listen.

13. Think of something that you admire about them and share that with them.

14. If you did something because they encouraged you, tell them what happened and thank them for it.

15. Dedicate a blog or email post to them because of something they taught you.

16. Introduce them to someone you think could help them achieve their personal or professional goals.

17. Smile.

18. Send a special note of appreciation.

19. Buy them a coffee or drop by with donuts.

20. Start on time, end on time – Value you their time.

21. Ask them about their lives.

22. Send flowers.

23. Tell their boss what a great job they are doing for you.

24. If someone thanks you, show appreciation by receiving it.

25. Acknowledge your accomplishments and don’t forget to show appreciation to yourself.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 94 – Part 2: A Deeper Look at the Enneagram and Money

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On this week’s show we continue the conversation on the Enneagram where we break down each number by money strengths, weaknesses and advice given by people of the same number.

The Enneagram is broken down into 9 types including:

1. The Reformer – The Rational & Idealistic Type

2. The Helper – The Caring & Interpersonal Type

3. The Achiever – The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type

4. The Individualist – The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type

5. The Investigator – The Intense, Cerebral Type

6. The Loyalist – The Committed, Security-Oriented Type

7. The Enthusiast – The Busy, Fun-Loving Type

8. The Challenger – The Powerful, Dominating Type

9. The Peacemaker – Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type

To get your Enneagram number, visit http://exploreyourtype.com or http://enneagraminstitute.com.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 93 | The Personality Test That Everyone is Talking About

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The personality test that everyone is talking about is the Enneagram, which is Greek for the number nine. 

The Enneagram is broken down into 9 types including:

1. The Reformer – The Rational & Idealistic Type

2. The Helper – The Caring & Interpersonal Type

3. The Achiever – The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type

4. The Individualist – The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type

5. The Investigator – The Intense, Cerebral Type

6. The Loyalist – The Committed, Security-Oriented Type

7. The Enthusiast – The Busy, Fun-Loving Type

8. The Challenger – The Powerful, Dominating Type

9. The Peacemaker – Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type

To take an Enneagram test to find your type, visit http://exploreyourtype.com or http://enneagraminstitute.com.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 92 | How To Turn Grief Into Hope With Laura Diehl

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After the death of her daughter, Laura’s life turned upside down. Through the grief, she realized that she wasn’t alone and it later became the start to her charity, Grieving Parents Sharing Hope.

On this episode, Mary and Laura walk through the first steps of the Fundraising Freedom process to ensure your fundraisers are innovative and well received. 

For more information about Laura and Grieving Parents Sharing Hope, visit http://gpshope.com and to contact Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com. To join the fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 91 | The 6 Basic Emotions That Impact Your Life And Work

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On today’s episode we talk through the 6 Basic Emotions and how you can use emotion to reach your 90-Day Challenge Goal and bring in more donations to your cause. 

The 6 Basic Emotions include:

1. Happiness (joy, trust, anticipation)

2. Fear

3. Surprise

4. Sadness

5. Disgust

6. Anger

Definition of Emotion: Any conscious experience characterized by intense mental activity and a certain degree of pleasure and displeasure.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 90 | The Single Most Important Office Supply You Need

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As you work on your 90-Day Challenge goals, this one office supply could be the difference between reaching or not reaching your goals.

Take action and complete this week’s exercise by writing down your 5 goals and completing your list of who you need to be, what you need to do to have what you want to have. 

Share your Be-Do-Have lists in the Fundraising Freedom Tribe at http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/. 

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com

Episode 89 | Take the Year-End 90-Day Challenge

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We’re just 90 days away from the end of the 2018 calendar year and the largest giving season of the year!

Join us as we take the 90-Day Challenge!

Write down your top 25 goals and circle your top 5. As Warren Buffet’s 5/25 Rule suggests, focus 100% of your attention on the top 5 goals and ignore the rest until you’ve successful completed one off the list.

Share your top 5 in the Fundraising Freedom Tribe at http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/. 

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com

Episode 88 | How Your Relationship with Money Can Sabotage or Create Your Success

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Your personal feelings around money does make a difference in the donations you bring in. Take some time to evaluate how you handle money personally and professionally and ask yourself the following questions.

⁃ What is your money story?

⁃ What emotions does money bring up?

⁃ What is your new story going to be?

⁃ What value do you bring in exchange for the salary/income you receive?

⁃ What value do you bring in exchange for the donations you receive?

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 87 | How to Handle the Ups and Downs of Fundraising

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Every year we experience the four season of winter, spring, summer and fall. Without a doubt spring always follows winter and an up always follows a down. In today’s episode we walk through each season to see how we can come with expectancy for each new fundraising season.

Here are the lyrics to the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” written by Pete Seeger (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

To everything – turn, turn, turn

There is a season – turn, turn, turn

And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, a time to reap

A time to kill, a time to heal

A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything – turn, turn, turn

There is a season – turn, turn, turn

And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down

A time to dance, a time to mourn

A time to cast away stones

A time to gather stones together

To everything – turn, turn, turn

There is a season – turn, turn, turn

And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate

A time of war, a time of peace

A time you may embrace

A time to refrain from embracing

To everything – turn, turn, turn

There is a season – turn, turn, turn

And a time to every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose

A time to rend, a time to sew

A time for love, a time for hate

A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late!

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 86 | How To Turn Busyness Into Productivity

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Is it even possible to take back the hours in your day and actually say “NO”? 

YES! 

Today, we talk through how to move the mindless tasks from our list so we can prioritize on the big things that actually produce something. Let’s start to value results and not busy work. 

Listen in to find out the difference between busyness and production and how you can turn into a more productive person as a result.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 85 | Why Rest Is Essential to Your Work

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In the United States, we celebrate Labor Day and many of us will take the day off to enjoy time with family and friends. As we gear up for a busy end-of-the-year season it’s important that we remember to rest. 

Resting is a skill that needs to be practiced especially by our selfless nonprofit leaders. 

Rest results in us being more creative and productive.

Our lives can be richer and more fulfilling when we take the time to rest. Be sure to reserve time for a walk, get up earlier to carve out time for your “big rock” items and be sure to spend time in play with a hobby or sport.

On this week’s episode find out what forms of rest are most essential and why they are important to the funds you raise.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 84 | How to Become an Unshakeable Optimist

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Is it possible to be FOR optimism? On today’s episode we address the following 10 ways to become an unshakeable optimist.

1. Be grateful. 

2. Be willing to share your story – both positive and negative ones.

3. Forgive.

4. Be a good listener.

5. Turn envy and jealousy into energy.

6. Smile more.

7. Exercise, Eat Healthy, Get Vitamin D.

8. Think positively.

9. Stop blaming others.

10. Decide that the past is not the blueprint for your future.

Determine any areas that you struggle with and put some energy towards making a change in that area. Share your success stories and optimism hacks in the Fundraising Freedom Tribe.

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 83 | The Power of Being For Something and Not Against It

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“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” – Mother Teresa

We only have so much mental capacity and it doesn’t make any sense to waste your limited energy on the things you are against. Just like Mother Teresa, we need to decide what we’re FOR and then do everything in our power to live that lifestyle.

Take a few minutes to write down what you choose. 

⁃ I choose ______________________.

⁃ I choose ______________________.

⁃ I choose ______________________.

After you’ve completed your list of the things you choose, then imagine what it looks like for someone who chooses those things. What does that person do? What does someone who wants to raise $_________ a month or year do, say and think?

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/

Episode 82 | 5 Questions to Ask Yourself to Get What You Really Want

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What you do with your life is your choice. You choose to do the work you do. You choose to have the relationships in your life. You choose how much money you make. You choose.

If we get to choose what we want then what questions do we have to ask ourselves to actually get it. In today’s episode, Mary talks through the 5 questions you need to ask yourself to get what you really want.

Here they are…

1. Why do I want it?

2. What do I gain if I get it? 

3. What do I have to lose to get it?

4. What if I fail?

5. What if I succeed?

For more information about Mary Valloni, visit http://maryvalloni.com and to join our fundraising community on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/fundraisingfreedomtribe/