I say all this as someone who cares deeply about relationships. I think often about the relationships in my personal and professional life. I’m developing a new keynote on building and maintaining relationships that pulls in my stand-up comedy. The most important thing in my life is people, and my relationships with them.
You have to be smart about which relationships you spend the most time cultivating and nurturing. Be judicious with your time.
The first place this applies is with your prospects. Every prospect deserves as much time as you can devote to them, until your gut tells you they aren’t serious about a gift. You might hear it directly from the person, but that often comes after you could have figured it out yourself.
Likewise, if colleagues urge you to give up on someone, and your gut tells you there’s real potential, stick with it. Intuition is a wonderful gift. Trust it. I like this blog post on the subject, by Renita Kalhorn.
Then look where you spend time that isn’t directly related to fundraising. You may be burdened by administrative responsibilities or active in professional association committees. Do these really, truly help you raise money? Talk with your boss about reassigning administrative duties. Can you get the benefits of association membership–education and networking–without being on a committee? Committee work takes a heck of a lot of time. I said something about this in a post from March.
Do you wish you had more time for direct fundraising? You won’t find it. We never “find the time.” You have to make it.
You’ve got your own distractions that are more pits than juice. Do what you can to relieve yourself of them and spend your valuable time fundraising.