Checklists – A Valuable Tool for the Nonprofit – Part I

Sections of this topic

    Are you feeling overwhelmed?

    I think for many of us, that answer is, “Yes” – at least part of the time … or in some aspect of our lives. You’ve probably heard it said that the amount of information a person living in the Middle Ages would have been exposed to in his or her lifetime is equivalent to the amount of information in a single Sunday New York Times !!

    And that example is from the 20th century; and now, in the 21st century, the amount of information that we are exposed to daily has increased exponentially. And, with that “overload,” the challenge of being able to filter out unnecessary information and acquire actionable and useful knowledge are even harder.

    In my next several posts I will share with you techniques that can help you deal effectively with the amount of information we are all bombarded with every day, and how one particular tool can be very effective with the tasks associated with using the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) to generate one of your non-profit’s streams of revenue.

    What is this powerful tool? A checklist, actually multiple checklists, and learning how to create and use checklists for your CFC tasks can have multiple benefits for your CFC action team, and for your whole organization.

    The definitive book on the power of checklists is “The Checklist Manifesto, How to Get Things Right” by Atul Gawande, M.D. He is an expert on patient safety in surgery, not just on the development of checklists.

    I highly recommend that you read that book, but if you don’t have time to do that, here’s one timesaving technique to (at least) get an idea of his most important points … or those in any book.

    Go onto Amazon, read the table of contents, read the excerpts available, and read at least 3 of the positive reviews; and, equally as important – read at least 3 of the negative reviews … which can give you feeling for what others thought might be some points that were not covered as well as they might have been.

    I did read the entire book, and the Amazon reviews as well; and, even the “negative ones” are pretty positive.

    (By the way, there are more than 500 reviews of the book on Amazon, and since 15-20 reviews is a more typical number it does give you a feel for the fact that many people have found this work of value.)

    On September 3rd & 24th, I will cover how the process works, some typical areas for CFC checklists, and how a technique that’s critical to the success of the for-profit sector can be extremely valuable for your non-profit.

    One point about checklists, if they are too long or too complex, they don’t work.

    Next week, watch for a twofer:
    A piece on Direct Mail and Donor Retention, and
    A piece on Having Your Grant Proposal Stand Out.

    During his 25-year career in the Federal sector,
    Bill Huddleston, The CFC Coach,
    served in many CFC roles. If you want to participate in the Combined Federal
    Campaign, maximize your nonprofit’s CFC revenues, or just ask a few questions,
    contact Bill Huddleston
    Have you seen
    The Fundraising Series of ebooks?

    They’re easy to read, to the point, and inexpensive ($1.99 – $4.99)

    If you would like to comment/expand on the the above piece, or would just like to offer your thoughts on the subject of this posting, we encourage you to “Leave a Reply.”