You email a donor. Or leave him a voicemail. Now what?

Many, including productivity guru David Allen in his best seller ‘Getting Things Done, adopt a mindset of ‘Waiting.’

Waiting means that you did your part. You sent an email. You made the call. Now the other side needs to respond. Your job is to wait.

Perhaps that was true a decade ago.

Today, waiting is no longer an option.

A ‘waiting’ mindset gets in the way of successful fundraising and productivity.

The new mindset is: assume you won’t get a response. At least not from your first email, call or effort.

There’s a simple rule I’ve created not to get caught in the ‘waiting game.’

It’s the ‘If Not, Then What’ Rule™. It’ll change how you work.

It goes like this.

  1. You text or call a donor to get together.
  2. Assume they won’t respond.
  3. Now kicks in the ‘If Not, Then What’ Rule.

As soon as you send the email, ask yourself…

  • ‘If Not’ – if the donor doesn’t respond.
  • ‘Then What?’ – Then what will I do next to follow up? And when?

E.g., Send an email —> Assume they won’t respond—> Immediately set a ‘follow-up action step’ with next step date in your organizer, like – Email Joe to follow up on a meeting request on Oct. 10th.

On that date, you could re email the person or forward the email from three days before with a short note,

“Joe, not sure if you saw this?” (And we apply the ‘If Not, Then What’ Rule™ to this action also!) or try a different way to reach out to him.

I’ve been coaching using the ‘If Not, Then What’ Rule™ and have seen how it’s a game changer in the biggest obstacle to success – Inertia.

Stopping the inertia is the key to get more accomplished, not just in fundraising.

B’hatzlacha raba raba!


Avraham Lewis is ‘The Fundraising Coach‘ for busy Jewish leaders who want to raise much more.

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