There is a well-known business book titled “Built to Last” written by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. The subtitle is “Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” The subtitle could easily be “Successful Habits of Visionary Sports Programs”. There is one quote in this book on which I want to focus.
“Profit is like oxygen, food, water, and blood for the body; they are not the point of life but without them, there is no life.”
We coaches tend to focus solely on the day-to-day with fundraising as an afterthought. We do the fundraising equivalent of “get rich quick schemes” by selling cookies or coupon books or a multitude of other products. While those solve a short-term problem of getting cash in the bank quickly (albeit with a lot of hard work), they fail to add any other building block to our program- like building a stronger community around our program. We need to focus on fundraising as do successful programs- let’s look at our successful universities or successful non-profits. Do they sell cookies? No. They cultivate their supporters, fans, alumni and prospective supporters. They do this through different forms of marketing.
Then, they ask them for money. No cookies involved.
This kind of fundraising is hard work too. It is also building to last. It’s effects are cumulative.
What steps can you take today to build to last?