There is a remarkable thought leader named Robert Schaffer who has a pretty amazing team of people that work with huge corporations and large non-profit organizations while engaging in some of the most complex projects around the world.
They use a specific method called ‘rapid success projects’ to help bring about organizational change.
I had the opportunity to learn from some people who have implemented and taught this method, and got very captivated by this idea. I have simplified much of what I’ve learned and applied to help many faith-based leaders use this technique to introduce new momentum and produce a new result over a relatively short period of time.
Here are a few basic techniques that will help you expand your toolkit to be able to use this in your own leadership when focusing on how to rapidly increase your momentum and commitments in giving.
1. Define, in a 100-day period, what you are trying to accomplish and what kind of momentum you are trying to achieve. Define this with a start and a stop date. Why 100 days? The reality is, it is very difficult to sustain effort and focus among a group of people for results for more than 100 days at a time. After that, the vision leaks, the energy leaks, and the focus sort of drifts away and starts meandering.
2. Set a very measurable milestone or goal to have achieved at the end of the 100 days. The key to this is that it might stretch you enough to create new energy, but still be very achievable. This is not a time for crazy goals. It has to be doable because the point here is the learning and momentum that comes from rapid success.
3. Define who you are going to focus on. Who are you going to mobilize for the effort? This is where we get a departure from just the idea of focusing on just donors. Instead, what we’re going to do is focus on a list of donors and influencers. Then, using the rapid success approach, we’re going to mobilize their focus, efforts, and giving in a 100-day period.
What do I mean by influencers? These people are volunteers. These are people who’ve already given or committed at a significant level, whatever that means to you. You’re going to focus on people that you would like to be engaged at a deeper level in the work that you’re doing. You’re going to focus on people who are connected perhaps to a company, foundation, community foundation, or group. This is a person that you can help connect the dots between their position of influence and their ability to communicate effectively with other people who might give to your ministry as well.
Then, let’s select people that are on your key staff for this same rapid success team. Even if you’re a very small ministry, the key staff are going to be heavily involved in this 100-day period because somebody has to be driving all of this forward, even if that is you.
4. Clarify in the first few weeks of this 100-day period, how you are going to mobilize these groups of people for rapid success. Here are a few ways that you can do this.
- You can recruit these people and their ideas face to face and one at a time. You want to let them know in these meetings what you are trying to accomplish in the next 100 days, the group of people you are meeting with to talk about this, and ask what it is that they could do, if the Lord enables them to do it, to have the most impact in the next 100 days.
- Or, you can recruit some of these folks to serve on an advisory group or task force just to focus on this 100 day goal. This gets them thinking creatively about how to work on this together, delegating tasks, and working on relationships with people that could help.
- You can focus on unlocking corporate giving or influencing groups, especially those that can be influenced by these individuals. This is an amazing method to use where you identify one person who’s an influencer with a particular company. Maybe they work in, are investors or partners in, or associated with that company. In a 100-day cycle, you can really start the conversations with that individual and help them see where you’re trying to be 100 days from now. Focus them in on how they can engage other employees in their company by asking them to take a look at what is happening and what God is doing. They might get stirred up and God might use them in their giving.
This is about getting the right things done through others, not just what you are going to do by yourself. Try it, and I guarantee this will unlock new momentum and new capacity within your organization.