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Unlocking Growth for Organizations and Idealists Like You

Double Your Revenue With Three Questions

“How do we double our program’s revenue?” is a question we hear a lot, and not just from the peer-to-peer fundraising directors, but also from the very senior level people in an organization.

Personally, regardless of who is asking, I love this question because it supports a “go big or go home” mentality, and yet, at the same time, it strikes me as lazy. Maybe I have the wrong perception, but I often sense a little glibness and naiveté in the question as it seems to suggest that there is a magic easy button that Plenty can provide. It is an attractive image, we hit the button and voila – buckets of money (maybe even ice bucket money – no easy button for that either.) The fact remains, we need to ask big questions that will challenge the assumptions limiting our ability to get to the desired next level of growth, which in this case is a massive exponential goal of doubling (or even tripling) revenue. 

Topics: Leadership Strategy

Chasing The Moon

I wake early, the day before Thanksgiving. I’ve been up, tossing and turning, thinking about my to-do list, my travel, my relationships, my family, the time I have, the time I spend. I’m reflecting on our year and the holiday coming up. I’m also thinking about Plenty’s second birthday coming this Saturday. I’m wondering about the year ahead, and I’m also wondering about where the time goes. All the thoughts collide together in my head. 

I’m in Park City, Utah, where I’ve spent the last two days working on the retreat space we are remodeling. It’s a long-time dream: to have a place where we can invite our clients to come out of their day-to-day setting, leave their worries behind, and connect with their deepest dreams of vision and change. 

We spend so much time helping our clients through their problems, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that there’s no problem that a bold vision and deep purpose can’t overcome. The challenge usually isn’t coming up with the vision — the challenge is setting the problem aside long enough to let the dream emerge. We spend so much time worrying about the “how” that we can blind ourselves to the “what.” 

Topics: Inspiration

The Secret To Having It All

When someone uses the “glass half full” or “glass half empty” device to gauge another’s outlook on life, I get it, but there’s something tickling in the back of my mind that considers it a false choice. What about evaluating the glass, taking a moment or two to think about its contents, and then filling it up to the optimal level, wherever that may be? Sure, this assumes that I’ve got access to something to fill the glass with, but that’s just how I think.

I’ve got plenty.

Topics: Inspiration

Change Begins With You

Often the enormity and callousness of the day’s events leave us feeling disconnected and dispirited — powerless to make a difference. “The problems are so, so big,” we say to ourselves. “There’s nothing I can do.” 

Topics: Inspiration

The Benefits Of Cooperation

Turn on the news any day of the week and you will see countless examples of people competing with – rather than cooperating with – one another. The question is, does the news reflect the people of the world in their true light? Most of us know the answer to this question already, as we are aware of the bias and exploitation of information that the news industry thrives off of, yet I wonder if there is still something there. Are we equipped to seek competition as opposed to cooperation? And if so, how can we break the cycle?

Topics: Inspiration

Leadership Lessons From The Parking Lot

It’s Monday afternoon and a surprising half-hour hole has opened up in my calendar. I look at the lunch that I hobbled together as I was running out of the door – a can of tuna, some pita chips, and a sparkling water. Hmmm. On second thought…

I have just enough time to try the new restaurant that opened in town. A ten-minute drive there, call it ten minutes to order something to go, and ten minutes back. No problem.

Topics: Leadership

To Paris, With Love

I hate what happened in Paris.

I hate when people die.

I hate reading the news.

I hate feeling scared.

But what I hate most of all is hate itself. 

Topics: Inspiration

An Epidemic: Are We Silencing Idealism?

Recently, we’ve been talking a lot about innovation here at Plenty. We are committed to weaving innovative thinking throughout our work, which is exciting. There’s no doubt that it will open doors to learning opportunities and growth, but it can also be scary and challenging because inherent in innovation, is change. 

Change is intimidating. Even further, change makers – people suggesting, pushing for, and fighting for change – can be even scarier.

Topics: Leadership

The Best Decision You'll Make All Year

“So, what’s our next big idea?”

I can picture the fallout. An uncomfortable silence, followed by timid eye contact amongst team members around the table, capped off with a few unintelligible murmurs. Then, the decision to hold a brainstorming meeting and follow up in a few weeks with the most viable concepts is reached. Sound familiar?

Topics: Strategy

Will You Ever Have Enough?

November is one of my favorite months. It’s crisp out, the leaves are changing, and seemingly everywhere, people are gathering. And there’s nothing like planning a Thanksgiving menu with the anticipation of a table surrounded by loved ones, full of bounty, and oozing with gratitude. The entire month takes on a grateful tone.

Topics: Inspiration

Do You Give A Damn?

It’s November in Wisconsin. The walls of the lodge living room are covered with lists, sticky notes, flipcharts, and drawings. The space smells like coffee and dry-erase markers. For four hours, nine distinct voices have been exchanging cerebral, aspirational, and impactful opinions about values – the values held dear to each individual, and the values that should be personified by the collective, Plenty.

Topics: Inspiration

The Best Advice You’ve Probably Forgotten: Post #2

We love to reminisce. Whether taking a trip down memory lane with old friends over beers, or posting a #TBT (Throwback Thursday) post of last year’s Halloween costume on social media, there’s nothing like a “blast from the past” to brighten the day. In that spirit, let’s hop in the not-so-way-back machine and revisit the best piece of fundraising advice you’ve probably forgotten, volume two.

A lot has changed in one year of fundraising. Whether it’s the Ice Bucket Challenge campaign’s 2014 success and 2015's (comparative) flop, the Planned Parenthood PR scandal, or the continued success of #GivingTuesdayold questions have been answered and new questions have been asked.

Millennials fall somewhere in between. 

Topics: Funding Strategy