For Impact


The Only Measurement That Matters Is Money

Productivity | | Tom Suddes

I had a session with a wonderful Sales Team last week. They’re deep into a campaign and doing really well. Then I had a subsequent conversation (as prelude to a two-day Custom Sales Training) with a wonderful, young head of a large development operation that has just completed filling out his Sales Team and ready to begin a strong Sales/Major Gift effort.

In both case, we spent significant time talking about this concept of MEASUREMENT.

Three quick assumptions to help you understand what follows.

  1. You are in SALES. Great sales teams and great sales people know the need for MEASUREMENT.
  2. Successful achievement of any GOAL requires MEASUREMENT. MEASUREMENT is the means to determine success, accomplishment, and satisfaction.
  3. You get what you MEASURE. Cliché, truism, aphorism… don’t know (don’t care). I do know that everybody in the development field and in sales wants and needs to know HOW they are being MEASURED.

Here are some ideas and nuggets that might help you with this whole concept or strategy of MEASUREMENT. It’s a little long. You might want to print it out, read it later or share and discuss with your development staff/sales staff.

I’ve been being ‘measured’ and ‘measuring’ for almost 35 years. Here is the shorthand version of what I’ve learned:

  • The only MEASUREMENT that really matters is MONEY (INCOME) raised to FUND THE VISION and SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE YOUR IMPACT. Many of you want to argue/debate this with me. (You may be bringing a knife to a gun fight.) Yes, it’s about relationships. But, it’s about MAXIMIZING the RELATIONSHIP… AT THIS GIVEN MOMENT.I’m becoming more mellow with age, but the word/concept of “cultivation” still makes me gag. Even things like “stewardship” and “donor relations” don’t work as part of your model or strategy IF there is no GIFT… no INVESTMENT… no MONEY/INCOME!!!(And you can’t deliver on your SOLUTION or BUSINESS MODEL or VISION or IMPACT.)
    It is THE MEASURMENT.EVERYTHING else is an ‘ACTIVITY’. Letters. Phone calls. Visits. Presentations. Asks. Proposals. Pending Follow-Ups.
  • Begin with the end in mind. Covey at his finest. The application is pretty simple.How much MONEY/INCOME do you need to fund your vision and achieve your impact goals???
  • MEASURE THE ‘TRIPLE NET’. [The $100,000 GUARANTEE.] I was talking on the phone with Kelly P., a former Suddes Group team member and now a development superstar with a children’s hospital. She reminded me of what I used to tell organizations 20 years ago. I guaranteed them a way to “raise $100,000”. Hire two Major Gift Officers/Development Officers. Pay them $50,000 each. I would train them in 10 minutes and guarantee that they would be able to go out and “raise” $50,000 each over the course of the year.I know this seems kind of silly because the net income is zero. (Actually, it’s a “negative number” since we did not factor in any of the “expenses” by the two development staff.)The point should be pretty obvious.

    The goal of every Development Office should be to write a NET, NET, NET CHECK to the IMPACT side of the organization.

    ***Therefore, you need to MEASURE the entire COST OF FUNDRAISING to really be able to determine your IMPACT.

  • DO THE MATH. One of the most important lessons around MEASUREMENT and GOALS, etc. is this concept of doing the MATH.
    • How much MONEY (Income) do you need?
    • What does your FUNDING PYRAMID (aka Gift Chart) look like?
    • How many COMMITMENTS do you need?
    • How many VISITS do you need to make?
    • How many QUALIFIED PROSPECTS need to be in your pool/portfolio?

Special Note: If you want to look at the way we have MEASURED every campaign we have ever managed and the performance of each of our sales team members, check out the ‘GREEN SHEET’.