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Archive for December, 2010


Slow Down You Move Too Fast!!

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I’ve been hiring for a few different positions recently, which means I’ve looked through mounds and mounds of resumes and cover letters. As I throw away 99% of them, one thought keeps running through my head: Slow down, you move too fast!

Many of the job applicants I see have similar resumes. . . they graduate and get a job.  Almost immediately, they get another job.  And another.  And another.  Each is presumably another step up the career ladder toward their ultimate goal of being in a better/more fulfilling/higher paying/whatever position.

You all remember the story of the tortoise and the hare, right?  Let’s not forget that at the end of that story, the tortoise crosses the finish line first.  The hare is left at the side of the road, gasping for breath and puking his guts out.  Ok, maybe I embellished that last part, but you get the point.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint.  So is your career.  When I see applicants who have changed job after job after job, moved around to move up quickly, and generally haven’t been in a position long enough to truly learn the ropes, I’m not interested.

Anyone can interview well enough to get a promotion.  With today’s limited supply of professionals and unprecedented demand in the nonprofit world, you can and will find another job out there with a better title and paycheck if you’re willing to move.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll know what you’re doing.

Slow down.  Stay in a job long enough to become good at it.  Get yourself hired by a fantastic mentor who can teach you to be a great professional.  One who can help you develop both the technical skills AND the personal/managerial skills you’ll need it to make it to the top of the ladder.  Staying in place for a little longer also allows you time to live with your mistakes – to learn from what worked and fix whatever didn’t.

Getting a job you’re not prepared for isn’t good  for you or your employer.  And it’ll set you back in the long run.  It’s better to be prepared, be the best you can be, and take your time to work your way up the ladder.  If you do, and the top rung is your ultimate aspiration, you’ll have a much better chance to reach your goal.  If you don’t, you may miss a rung or two and end up flat on your back starting over.

Enough on this topic, I’ve got more resumes to read!

Category : Uncategorized | Blog

Is Ed McMahon Still Alive?!?!

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My father-in-law received a direct mail solicitation recently and asked me what I thought. My exact words were: WOW! Ok, that’s only one word. But still, it was quite the package. I thought maybe Ed McMahon and the Publishers Clearinghouse people were somehow involved!

Let’s take a look:

The whole package (click to enlarge)

So what all was included?
1. Mailed in a personalized envelope, oversized, square, with a personalized teaser
2. Personalized letter from a student at the school
3. Personalized letter from the director of the school (two sided, with coupons to return w/gift)
4. Personalized pledge card/reply envelope
5. Personalized mail label set (two sheets with some stickers at the bottom)
6. Wall calendar, with info and stories on the back
7. Personalized certificate of appreciation
8. One large notepad
9. One small notepad
10. One foil sheet of general stickers with flowers and butterflies on them
11. Of course, a dreamcatcher

That’s a lot of stuff!

The gift ranges on the reply card started at $8, with a high of $35.  My FIL says he has never given, so this is presumably an acquisition package. Interestingly, there was a separate box to check that says “I can’t help the children now, but I’m enclosing $5 to cover the expense of sending my dreamcatcher gift.”

Also of note, I believe the dreamcatcher originally had a sticker on it that said ‘Made in China’ – wonder if that makes it less effective at catching dreams?

I hope somebody is testing this thing. Does the added expense of TWO notepads make for better response? Stickers, labels, dreamcatcher combo? Ten inserts in the original envelope? We all know premiums can have an effect, but the ‘more is better’ concept may or may not be true.  As long as somebody is testing this and seeing results that merit the packaging (both short- and long-term) I’m can be a happy camper.  Frankly, if you can mail 20,000 elephants carved out of soap and see the right metrics for your program, who am I to say otherwise?

Too often, however, the whole testing and analysis part is overlooked.  Even worse, the organization doesn’t consider what TYPE of donor it is acquiring, rather than just making a quick profit this year.  Hopefully your organization is in business for the long-haul, so consider your strategy accordingly.

Below are some closeups of the letters from the mailing.  Enjoy them while I go hang my new dreamcatcher!

(Click Images To Enlarge)

Category : Uncategorized | Blog

Exciting Changes

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Please note that the Getting Giving Blog will be moving within the next few days to a new web host. This includes an exciting new redesign and a few other goodies. What does this mean for YOU? Well, hopefully nothing. BUT just in case. . .

I will be changing over all of the RSS and email subscription feeds at the same time. I’m no web programmer, but from what I’ve read I can do this without you even knowing it. But if you get a strange double-feed for a day or two, I hope you’ll excuse the extra RSS feed/email. It’ll work itself out quickly as all the hostnames and redirects and other thingamaboppers do their work.

Until then, remember there’s only 23 days left in 2010. Get back to processing those gifts! :)

Category : Uncategorized | Blog