brown and black Wilson football

Advice from the Super Bowl

When you talk to people about funding your mission, do you get a “yes” every time?

Does that make you hesitate at the next opportunity?

I think it’s important for us to remember even the best don’t succeed at every try.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes won the Most Valuable Player award (again) at this year’s Super Bowl. He threw 46 passes in the game, but only 34 were caught by teammates (and one was intercepted). During the season, “just” 67% of the passes he threw were completed.

In school, 67% is a failing grade. But in football, it’s great.

Nobody has ever started and finished a game without throwing an incomplete pass. Nobody.

Can you imagine if Mahomes threw a couple of incomplete passes, and then refused to throw any more? “That’s it! We obviously need to just run the ball. No more passing if I can’t complete every one!”

He’d never do that. And you shouldn’t either.

No one has a perfect record. And even the best can have an “off” day (or season).

Vince Lombardi is one of the greatest coaches in football history. The Super Bowl trophy is named after him. After his highly-favored team lost the championship one year, Lombardi famously started the next training camp by holding up a football and telling his world-class players, “Gentlemen, this is a football.”

He ran those guys through the basics. How to block, how to tackle, etc. Elementary stuff.

We all love a long pass with a spectacular catch for a touchdown. But the real key to winning is to execute the basics – consistently. Sometimes you’ll get a “yes” and sometimes you’ll get a “no” or a “not now.” That’s okay. Line up and run the next play.

If you’re the quarterback on your fundraising team, your job is simply to move the ball down the field. That means you’re doing the basics:

  • Communicating consistently with donors
  • Getting your message in front of new people
  • Thanking supporters
  • Reporting back
  • Telling stories

Ladies and gentlemen, this is an email. This is a phone call. This is a face to face visit.

These are the basics that move you incrementally down the field, one play at a time. Do these, and your fundraising will improve.

If you need help with your nonprofit storytelling – emails, newsletters, social media – check out my Mission Writers course.

May this be your best year yet!

See also  What Would it Mean for You to Win?
Scroll to Top