Daily Nuggets: Blog
Funding ideas, motivational nuggets and stories from For Impact.

Make Everything A DRAFT

Tom Suddes | July 1, 2008

Here’s a pretty powerful idea that even Nick and I don’t fully always appreciate:


We put… and leave… the word ‘DRAFT’ on just about everything we do, for all kinds of reasons:

  • Creates opportunity for discussion and conversation.

  • Allows for a feeling of engagement, involvement and feedback.

  • Literally enables changes, re-design and ongoing versions!

Here are 3 very specific examples:

  1. A terrific university, in a $275+ Million Funding Initiative, has developed a simple, powerful PRESENTATION TOOL. In the top right-hand corner, it says ‘DRAFT’. The beauty of this is that it actually is a ‘DRAFT’… and people are feeling like they have some input.

    P.S. People actually say, "I love that this is a draft."

  2. An incredible For Impact Organization in San Diego, working with Nick as a Coach, put together a great ‘DRAFT’ PLAN that showed how much additional funds were being leveraged, etc. It also showed $5M for a particular project. The first prospect presented with this ‘DRAFT‘ PLAN asked, "What if we did that entire project ($5M)???"

    P.S. The answer was pretty obvious!

  3. A foundation proposal that I helped put together actually carried the word ‘DRAFT‘ at the top! We literally asked the Champion at the foundation to look at the ‘DRAFT‘… and give us some feedback and even suggest any changes that might help obtain a significant investment from the foundation.

    P.P.S.S. It worked!

The idea, nugget, lesson for this week:


Special Note: This actually fits perfectly into wonderful ideas like prototyping, testing and practicing.

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5 Comments So Far

  • Elizabeth Jewell - July 1st, 2008 1:27 pm

    Re: putting DRAFT on everything, I agree wholeheartedly and would only offer this additional suggestion: sometimes putting the entire phrase “DRAFT for discussion” on a piece sends an even clearer message that you are inviting input (and not just that you forgot to delete the word “DRAFT”…)

    Another inspirational reminder; thanks!


  • AP - July 1st, 2008 3:44 pm

    I loved the For Impact nugget about a “Draft.” I so look forward to these emails. I have learned so much! Thank you.


  • Carie Lynn Cable - July 1st, 2008 4:06 pm

    This is one of the highest value WOWs I’ve read lately. Wow!

    I appreciate the signifcant early registration fee for the online program for those involved in fundraising?

    As execitive director or chief administrative officer, I’ve turned around five organizations focused on public educational programming abouit international issues. I turned around my most recent organization so well a new volunteer chairman stepped in and took the organization in a new direction — dismissing those of us with content mastery in favor of an all administrative staff.

    For three years I have hammered the market for appropriate employment. Since fundraising was my strong suit, I’ve concentrated there — to no avail.
    Because I am not a technical fundraiser who moves from organization to organizstion without regard to content, I’ve come up empty time and time again.

    I would appreciate a full scholarship to your online program. I’ve exhausted my savings and now am borrowing against my retirement fund.

    Work study? You betcha. If we could come up with an appropriate project, I’d be most willing to assist.

    Kudos and Kongrats for the contributions you make to raising the professionalism of non-proft management!

    Carie Cable
    Pasadena, CA


  • Mary McKinley - July 2nd, 2008 8:43 am

    Brilliant idea that did work for me! I forgot to remove the “draft” from a working document and took it into a meeting. The board members made suggestions and felt their ideas were needed which made their time useful.

    I plan to intentionally leave the “draft” on future documents. We can always use good ideas that make our foundation better.

    Thanks for the great articles.


  • ibironke Olubamise - July 4th, 2008 4:15 am

    The last Tip DRAFT is so great. I can just imagine how many friends you can make with this one word in the process of Fundraising and even in other areas of life. Thank you so much.



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