Monday, May 7, 2012

Reading about...

What are you reading about today?  What have you been reading about over the past several months?  I remember someone saying that if you read a book a week on a particular subject, that would come out to 52 books during a one-year period.  Assume several weeks off and some books taking more than one week, and let's average it out to 40 books during the year.  Now assume you commit to doing that over a 5-year stretch.  You will have read 200 books on a particular subject, making you a knowledge expert in that field.  Imagine what you would learn - and be able to do with that knowledge.

I have committed this year to reading on philanthropy and development work.  I decided last December that this was an area in which I needed to learn more and have more skills and tools to use as I ask people to invest in the good of this region through their gifts to Concordia University Texas (as well as my work with LINC-Houston).  Over a four month period, I have read eleven books covering a broad range of topics.  I spend approximately 30 minutes every morning reading on this topic and have moved my learning forward at a fast pace.  There are many times I read the same thing said in a new way by a different author, realizing that some of the material is beginning to sink into my subconcious.  I have even begun dreaming about philanthropy and development, and look forward to my meetings with friends and future friends of the University.  Asking for support and people's investments has become one of my passions...much of that due to a consistent reading diet in this field.

A few learnings from my readings:
  • people will give when they are asked...but they need to be asked
  • ask people to invest in a cause that makes a difference...not in an institution and its needs
  • development work is not that hard...but it does take hard work to make it happen
  • development work is about them and people will give
  • don't be afraid to ask for a large gift...people will often surprise you with what they are able to consider
  • managing a development team is about learning to use people's gifts and talents...find lots of people to partner with to develop more and deeper relationships
  • when asking for gifts from others, be sure you have made yours first...and your own gift should hurt a little bit
My top reads to this point?
I know I have to "get on the ball" if I am going to make 40 books this year...for me, the learning keeps happening and I look forward to what is next.  Any suggestions?

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