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For Impact | The Suddes Group

Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog


DESIGN keeps Nike cool. Great article in USA Today (December 7, 2009) about Nike’s new CEO Mark Parker. He’s a DESIGNER. He sketches and doodles while he listens. He talks about his simple game plan: Small is big.

is the not-so-secret key to creativity, innovation, business, the Third Sector… and just about everything.

“The hardest thing for a company to do is to CHANGE when it doesn’t seem like CHANGE is necessary.”

167 x 20% = 33

I’ve just used this simple, powerful ENGAGEMENT MATH with two great coaching clients. It’s so powerful that I wanted to share it with everyone. I actually think you can make it work (certainly in principle) no matter the size of the organization.

167 VISITS (15/Month for 11 Months… 30+ Visits/Month for 6 Months…
55 Visits/Month for 3 Months. Just ÷ by Number of People on the Sales Team)167 x 20% = 33
x 20% (Engage with 167 Qualified Prospects. Do Discovery. Share the Story. Present the Opportunity. Minimum 1 in 5 will make a Transformational Gift/ Commitment.)
33 (These 33 Gifts will match up to your GIFT CHART, which is a SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY.)

Suggestion: Don’t ‘question’. Don’t ‘think’. Just go ‘DO’. ENGAGE.

Get Your Messge Out!

Friend and brilliant thinker, Jim Mahoney, has this quote on his calendar for January 12th.

“Some people miss their MESSAGE because they’re too busy checking the SPELLING.”

Getting your MESSAGE out (ENGAGE) is the important thing. If there’s a ‘misspelling’, it’s covered because of the ‘DRAFT’… and the fact that you’re ‘PRACTICING’!

3 This Week – Changes the Game

If you ENGAGE, visit, get shoulder-to-shoulder this week with 3 of your best and most Qualified Prospects/Potential Investors… it changes the game!

2009: Year of Engagement

We hope you had a great holiday and that you are ready to make 2009 your best year ever.

Of all the possible ‘resolutions’ you could make for 2009, Nick and I believe the one that will have the most IMPACT is to simply ENGAGE!!!

Make 2009 your YEAR OF ENGAGEMENT.

To help you get going, we have put together some RULES OF ENGAGEMENT and a suggested ACTION PLAN. To download the PDF: 2009: YEAR OF ENGAGEMENT.

Start today! Begin to ENGAGE around our biggest insight:


This the first Rule of Engagement is a reminder, at the highest level, of the importance of your IMPACT! This is the ‘WHY’ you need to ENGAGE!

If you start this year committed to increasing, scaling and growing your IMPACT, you will attack every day with Energy, Enthusiasm and Engagement!

Special Note: IF… you just were to ENGAGE (in dialogue/conversation) with the absolute best 33 members of your (organization) ‘FAMILY’ – your world (and their world) would be TRANSFORMED!

Notes From The Field: 3 Big Simplicity Lessons Reaffirmed

I just spent 48 hours with two incredible (but so different!) For Impact Organizations.

Here are the 3 big lessons on SIMPLICITY that were reaffirmed in so many ways.

1. Build a SIMPLE MESSAGE… around your CORE SOLUTION.

2. Build a SIMPLE CASE… around your SIMPLE MATH.

3. Build a SIMPLE PLAN… around your CASE and MATH.

The ‘SIMPLE MESSAGE’ was reinforced with two incredible social entrepreneurs whose entire message can be captured in those magic 6 WORDS… that were already part of their organization NAME and their organization TAGLINE!

The SIMPLE CASE and SIMPLE MATH applied to both organizations. Turn a ‘Master Plan’ into a very Simple 3-Point Case with 3 Specific Phases. Look at the ‘MATH’ and pick a number ($100M in this case) and the required gifts to achieve this goal. Use the MATH of $13 a day per child from the public sector and the $10 per day per child ‘Need’/’GAP’ to build a SPONSOR MODEL around $3,650 per year (sponsors a child) and $10,000 a year (sponsors a family).

Finally, turn the Message, the Case, and the Math into a SIMPLE ACTIONABLE PLAN! We’re going out to test the Case with five or six of our very best prospect. We’re going to get 3 champions to get 3 other sponsors who will get 3 sponsors. We’re going to meet with the Mayor who is one of our current partners and super champions. And on and on and on.

***Special, Special, Special Note: As this incredible former Marine and Social entrepreneur said, “I just didn’t realize it could be this SIMPLE.”

It is.

Find And Visit With Your Best Prospects

Here is an example of the kind of ideas we’re discussing during this week’s teleseminar series: Campaign Week 2008.


  1. Create an IDEAL PROFILE of the ‘perfect’ qualified prospect/perspective investor for your Cause, Case, Organization, Vision, and Campaign…
  2. MATCH your stakeholders, constituency, suspects/prospect pool to the IDEAL PROFILE to determine the 3 best fits (matches)…
  3. GO VISIT with these 3 prospects immediately, tomorrow, within 3 hours after you’ve created the MATCH.


  • It doesn’t make any difference where you are in a Campaign. Planning. Just starting. In the middle. Stagnant. At the end.

    CREATING and MATCHING and VISITING with your 3 most IDEAL PROSPECTS will have an IMPACT beyond anything you can imagine.

  • This is about the best 3 matches/fits. It’s not visiting with 3,000 or 300 or even 30 prospects.

  • You can AUTHENTICALLY look these current or potential ‘CHAMPIONS’ in the eye and say any or all of the following:

    • “When we created an IDEAL PROFILE of people that we felt would be a PERFECT FIT vis a vis our Purpose, our Priorities and our Plan… you were at the top of the list.”

    • “In all of our work and preparation for this effort (Funding Initiative), it became so obvious, at least to us, that you were one of a ‘HANDFUL OF PEOPLE’ who could literally TRANSFORM this organization.”

    • “If we can’t PRESENT THIS OPPORTUNITY and get someone like you ENGAGED… [who is perfectly ALIGNED with our Mission , Vision, Purpose, Priorities and Plan] then I don’t know who else we should be meeting with.”

ACTION: If you trust us enough to believe that this can literally transform your entire organization, then you should, again:

  1. Create your IDEAL PROFILE .
  2. MATCH this Profile to come up with 3 perfect ‘FITS’.

    Quick Tip: Sharing the Ideal Profile with your Board and key volunteer leaders and asking them “Who fits?” is 1,319,000 more productive than asking your Board for a ‘LIST OF NAMES’. As Nick always says, “How’s that working for you?”

  3. Schedule the VISIT immediately. PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY . Be AUTHENTIC.

We Learn By Going Where We Have To Go

Theodore Roethke
(via Julia Cameron)

Julia is without question one of my favorite authors, thinkers, writers. (The Artist’s Way, The Right to Write.) I’ve read this really powerful quote in a number of her works.

I believe it has meaning for us as INDIVIDUALS and for our INVESTORS.

First, for YOU. You learn by going where you have to go. If you want to learn to sell… then sell. If you want to learn to present opportunities… then present opportunities. If you want to learn to surf or ski or box… then you must surf, ski, box.

Robin Williams told Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting that he had never "done” anything. He only read books. He hadn’t “smelled the paint in the Sistine Chapel, etc.”

I’m sure you get the point.

As for your INVESTORS, if you really want them to LEARN about your IMPACT… then they need to “GO WHERE THEY HAVE TO GO“… which is WHERE YOU DELIVER YOUR SERVICES (IMPACT)!!!

In our ROADMAP (SALES PROCESS), one of the most important components is PREDISPOSITION.

What is the absolute PERFECT PREDISPOSITION??? It’s bringing the Qualified Prospect or potential/current investor TO YOU!!!

It’s about the ‘HOME COURT ADVANTAGE’. It’s also about you controlling the environment, the flow, the agenda, the tour (which is 100x than at their office or their home; and a 1,000x better than a ‘restaurant’!)

At Colorado College and Ohio Wesleyan University, we call this GTC: GET TO CAMPUS!

If… “A picture is worth a 1,000 words“…

Then… “A live Memorable Experience is worth a million words“.

Special Note: Please, please don’t tell me you can’t get people to come and visit you. I didn’t say this was easy. I said it will significantly increase the magnitude of the commitment!

If they SEE and FEEL and TOUCH and SMELL what you do… they will INVEST with a COMMENSURATE COMMITMENT!

Closing Story. This “LEARN BY GOING WHERE WE HAVE TO GO” idea is in play this week.

I’ve been involved as a boxer and now the boxing coach at Notre Dame for 40+ of 78 years it’s been around. The proceeds ($75,000 to $100,000) from the annual five-day Bengal Bout tournament go to the Holy Cross Missions in Bangladesh (formerly Bengal).

This week, five of the current Captains of the Boxing Club are IN Bangladesh… working with the Missionaries, helping teach English, visiting the villages, seeing what happens at the school, the orphanage and the infirmary.

Obviously, this will be a life-changing experience for them. They are also doing a DOCUMENTARY with a professor and professional videographers so that these young men can bring the Missions ‘BACK’ to show to those people (boxers, former boxers, etc.) who can’t “go where they have to go“.

Pretty cool.

Message To Garcia

I’ve been with a lot of Social Entrepreneurs and For Impact Leaders lately. Jim Collins’ ‘BUS’ analogy always comes up. (Right people on. Wrong people off. Right people in right seats.)

I’ve strongly encouraged them to also get people ‘on the bus‘ who can:


This is one of my favorite stories, written by Elbert Hubbard, editor of the “Philistine Magazine” and published in March of 1899! I am paraphrasing Hubbard’s story… but I think you will get the point.

THE STORY: When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the insurgents… a General Garcia. He was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba – no one knew where. Mail or telegraph could not reach him… and the President had to secure his cooperation quickly.

Somebody told the President, “There’s a fellow by the name of ROWAN who will find Garcia for you, if anybody can.”

Andrew S. Rowan, West Point Class of 1881 was a First Lieutenant in the 19th Infantry, U.S.A. (Yes!) Because he knew the topography of Cuba, was familiar with Spanish, and had shown himself to be a brave and prudent solider, Lieutenant Rowan was selected for this mission.

In short, he took the letter, sealed it in an oilskin pouch, strapped it over his heart and crossed from Jamaica to the southern coast of Cuba in a sailboat. He disappeared into the jungle, made his way inland to Garcia’s camp… and DELIVERED HIS MESSAGE!!!

In Hubbard’s words: “The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia. Rowan took the letter and did not ask, ‘Where is he at?’ By the eternal! There is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and his statue placed in every college in the land. It is not book learning young men need nor instruction about this and that but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies; and do that thing – ‘CARRY A MESSAGE TO GARCIA!'”

All kinds of ‘lessons’ here. Pick the one you need today.

You Will Never Have Enough Information

Remember a powerful quote that Tom and I love:

“Engage, then plan.” Andy Grove

You will never have enough information before meeting with a prospect.
If you’re waiting until you have enough then your approach would be to,
“Plan, then engage.”

I don’t know that I’m every really sure about the ratings and
rankings on my prospect list (including a prospect’s capacity and
relationship) until AFTER I’ve gone to visit with them.

The implications?

  • You can’t determine what you will ask for until you’ve had a real conversation
    with the prospect. Too many times I’ve been told by a board member or
    champion, “You can only ask for $X.” During the visit we learn information
    that would warrant a $10X ask. (So we ask for $10X!)

  • It’s okay to not know everything. You can fill in the blanks by asking

  • Wealth screening, Google, giving history etc. are your knowledge base
    – not strategies. Want a strategy? Go and visit with the prospect. Share
    the story around your impact and present the opportunity to save lives,
    change lives and/or impact lives.

  • Don’t to set a bar BEFORE you share your vision, your impact, your
    raison d’etre. Don’t make decisions for your prospect. The reason for
    sharing your story and your vision is to SET A NEW OR VERY HIGH BAR.

Here is a very powerful question – so powerful we call it the ‘DISCOVERY

After getting the prospect VERY engaged around your impact and your priorities
you can share you funding plan and ask:

“Prospect, I don’t know about your capacity.
This program will require $40,000 a year for each of the next three years.
Is this something you could do?”

After you build confidence in your approach, you can drop the line about
‘not knowing capacity.’

It’s a powerful question you’ve engaged the prospect. The answer
will provide all the information you need to plan. It’s important
that you listen, process and keep moving forward with the relationship.
Implied: Don’t ‘engage… then stop.’