Speed Doesn’t Kill

This week, we’re re-publishing some lessons from Tom’s For Impact Campaign Manifesto: Take a Quantum Leap and asking our Coaches to apply to real world scenarios.


As Mario Andretti said, “If you feel like you’re still in control, you’re not going FAST enough.”



Why would an investor make a decision NOW to make a really big IMPACT on your organization, when there is no sense of urgency on the organization’s part?

I know. You’re thinking that you actually need to ‘slow down,’ ‘do better planning,’ ‘get all your ducks in a row,’ etc., etc. You’re wrong.

From our For Impact Coach, Robb Pike:

One of the biggest shifts I have seen in our clients comes when they OWN a SENSE OF URGENCY. Some examples of SPEED from the field:

“Not long ago I would wait months for a prospect to respond to me. When I realized the longer I waited the less people would get help I started following up quickly and regularly. Emails, phone call, and even a text or two. Sometimes I would ask ‘Am I being too persistent?’ What I found was almost everyone would actually thank me for my persistence and commitment. A couple actually gave more because they felt our organization was more committed to our work than others just because I never stopped.”

“We work in 90 day sprints now. We move fast and focused. Two years ago we would barely make our numbers (if we did) by the end of the fiscal year. Now we are in a 90 day sprint to close NEXT fiscal year and we are still in this fiscal year.”

“I love the ‘Just Visit’ strategy. We used to spend months with research, inviting people to events, and sharing marketing materials in hopes they would want to know more. Now, if we want to talk to them we move quickly to ‘Just Visit.’ Our work is too important to wait for the perfect moment.”

If you don’t own an SENSE OF URGENCY around your IMPACT, then who will? If you know the impact of your work, you know that saving/changing/impacting lives can’t wait. If you don’t have a sense of urgency no one will.


2 Responses to “Speed Doesn’t Kill”

  1. Deidre Sandvick

    I’m curious to see the term “sprint” used in this way. Is this a reference to a Scrum-like sprint? If so, I would be very interested to hear how this organization is approaching their donor work through quarterly sprints.

    • For Impact Coach

      sprint verb 1. run at full speed over a short distance.

      1. Although this is not a reference to a “scrum-sprint” specifically, you could consider it “Scrum-like” as long as you don’t get too bogged down in the process of choosing the sprint. I coach around choosing a RESULTS based goal: How many current asks on the table can we close? How many new visits can we get? Can we close our fiscal year goals? Who can we close with just a phone call? Then pick a timeline to “Sprint” on that goal. The sprint will provide you and/or your team with a single priority to work on that will deliver not only results, but a framework to make decisions. It creates activity, points to coach around, and a sense of URGENCY. During a sprint you should be at “full speed” to deliver on the goal. Then, after the sprint: review, refresh, and take a moment to reorient around a new goal and repeat. The energy you find from giving yourself and your team permission to go fast will deliver results.

      2. A sprint is an all out effort towards a specific goal. It could be a day: how many gifts can we close today? It could be a week: How many visits can we book this week? We love 90 days here at For Impact. Whatever the length of the sprint, the magic comes in taking ACTION on the goal.

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