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For Impact | The Suddes Group

Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

The 4-Hour Workweek for Fundraisers


What would you do if you could only spend 4 Hours each week on bringing in money for your organization?

One of my favorite reads right now and personal recommendations is The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. It speaks to me about designing a life over designing work and designing work around life. You should read the book for Tim’s life outlook alone and the thinking that leads to a 4-Hour workweek.

The social sector is crammed with people that came into their jobs fueled by passion and fast-tracking to burnout as they find themselves doing so many things, for so little pay and so far from their passion for 60-80 hours per week. Even ‘dedicated development people’, they spend most of their time dealing with event prep, mailers, meetings, research, etc.

The 4-Hour work week is about maximizing your return-on-energy.

One of things Tim had to do was fire 80% of his non-productive clients. He them employed Pareto’s rule to every aspect of his business.

What if we eliminated 80% of our nonproductive [funding] activities? Go even further… what if we eliminated 97% of our nonproductive funding activities and focused ONLY on the top 3% of the prospects that really transform the org?

What if we eliminated two (or three or four) not-so-special events and took all that time, energy and effort focusing on one (or two or three or four) prospects that could invest $1Million to the cause?

Whether a start-up, a large university or entrepreneurial org focusing on boosting programming dollars, every organization we’ve ever worked with has been completely transformed as a result of focusing on and maximizing the relationships with its top 10 prospects. This is a ‘simple not easy’ concept. It’s much easier however, than working 80 hours per week and spinning the hamster wheel.

Most of the funding activities we’re doing are not productive. Nix them. Focus on the top-of-the-pyramid always. Find more time for your passion in life and business. Find more time for your business to focus on its business – rather than the next event, report, activity, etc.