January 7, 2014 | Tom Suddes

12-Point Checklist

Working today with some of the best Chief Development Officers in the United States/world.

I wanted to share this 12-Point Checklist with all of you in hopes that it provides a framework or template for your own organization and fund development.

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January 6, 2014 | Tom Suddes


HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope everyone had a great holiday season with family, friends and some solo time.

2014 can be a great year for all of us.

Three thoughts to start off the New Year.

    1. ON CHANGE! Darwin said, “Adapt or Die.” Alan Deutschman wrote Change or Die”. 2014 can be your Year of Change. Here are some quotes to get you going.
    *I will be feeding you a lot more stuff in the next week on this topic of CHANGE.
    2. HIGH PERFORMANCE. Nick and I are on our way to Colorado to spend some time with one of the most cutting-edge and innovative health care organizations in the world. Topic tomorrow with their leadership is all about High Performance Talent.
    ***Pay particular attention to Tony Schwartz’s thoughts on routines and rituals and systems.
    3. YOU RUN YOUR ORGANIZATION. YOUR ORGANIZATION DOESN’T RUN YOU. I’m going to be sharing more thoughts this year directed towards YOU … as a person and the CEO of Me, Inc. This will be our Gold section around Personal Development.
    You run your life. Life doesn’t run you.

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December 20, 2013 | Tom Suddes


This will be my last post and last WOW email for 2013. And, it’s not about your organization, your team, fundraising or sales. It’s about YOU. It 2014, we’ll be organizing all of our content, resources and support under Blue-Red-Green-Gold. This represents Organizational Development (Blue), Team Development (Red), Fund Development (Green) and Personal Development (Gold). I want to close out 2013 with some GOLD. BE HAPPY. BE HEALTHY. BE FOR IMPACT. BE HAPPY. Check out this great link to 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Happy by Belle Beth Cooper via Jeff Haden. Shorthand:

    1. Exercise.
    2. Sleep more.
    3. Spend more time with friends and family.
    4. Get outside more.
    5. Help others(!)
    6. Practicing smiling.
    7. Plan a trip.
    8. Meditate.
    9. Move closer to work.
    10. Practice gratitude.

A lot of great links in this article! One more resource for some reading on happiness over the holidays might be The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People by David Niven. *I’m learning to be much more productive in my old age. My good friend Jim Mahoney of Battelle for Kids has done a terrific job of Book Notes on Niven’s book. Here’s the summary. Happy people have:

  • Humor/Positivity/Fun
  • Friendship
  • Purpose and Meaning

BONUS READING: Jim Rohn’s 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness: Power Ideas from America’s Foremost Business Philosopher. One of my favorite authors, Rohn says the 7 strategies are:

    1. Unleash the power of goals.
    2. Seek knowledge.
    3. Learn how to change.
    4. Control your finances.
    5. Master time.
    6. Surround yourself with winners.
    7. Learn the art of living well!


BE HEALTHY. There was a sign in one of the original athletic clubs I built many years ago that I will never forget: “HEALTH IS THE GREATEST WEALTH.” I’m not going to encourage you to make ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, but here are three great resources to read or skim over the holidays regarding your health.

      • Aging Well by George Vaillant. Again, I don’t need to summarize. You can all use Google or Bing. Vaillant is the one who summarized the groundbreaking study of five decades of Harvard graduates.
      • Brain Rules by John Medina. The reason I included it here is because it’s one of Nick’s favorite books and a HEALTHY BRAIN means everything!

BE FOR IMPACT. This is our commitment to help you in 2014 and beyond.

Here are my initial year-end thoughts on BE FOR IMPACT. I would love your feedback.

Have a wonderful holiday and end of the year.

Look for some great stuff ON CHANGE on January 6th.

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December 16, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Nelson Mandela Just Asked

A good friend of mine in Ireland (who, by the way, runs a fantastic anti-bullying program there) sent me an article from the Irish Times.

Article is written by Bono on his “friend Nelson Mandela”. Here’s the opening of the article:

    “He could charm the birds off the trees – and cash right out of wallets. He told me once how Margaret Thatcher had personally donated £20,000 to his foundation.
    “How did you do that?” I gasped. The Iron Lady, who was famously frugal, kept a tight grip on her purse.
    “I asked,” he said with a laugh. “You’ll never get what you want if you don’t ask.”

JUST ASK! We can now add Nelson Mandela to the list!

    “If you don’t ASK, you don’t get.” Gandhi
    The Bible says, “Ask and you shall receive.”
    In Hebrew, it’s “Rak B’vakaysh!! ONLY ASK!”
    “You’ll never get what you want if you don’t ask.” Nelson Mandela

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December 16, 2013 | Tom Suddes

3 Big Things We Created …

We had almost everybody to Eagle Creek last week for year-end review, 2014 goals and planning and some serious celebration!

As I was listening to the team talk about impact that we have had in 2013, I was reminded of the power of our thinking, models and frameworks.

Three of the really big things that resonated most with clients and in our trainings were actually things that we (kind of) invented:

    1. MASTER PROSPECT LIST. Top-down, descending order of importance, rating based primarily on Capacity and Relationship, not ‘siloed’ into individual or corporate or foundation or whatever and more.
    In all the sales trainings I’ve attended over the years and all the sales books I’ve read … I’ve not seen anyone use this concept of the MPL to drive Prioritization and Strategy with prospects.
    2. PREDISPOSITION. Again, this is a term that we coined (pun intended) to raise a lot more money. Professionals in the For Impact world do not make ‘cold calls‘. We predispose before any contact with our best prospects and before every visit. Professionals know they have 30 minutes, on average, for the Presentation of the Opportunity. Anything and everything that we can do before that presentation to help the prospect make a decision is invaluable.
    ***The three parts to our Sales Process are of equal importance: PREPARATION/PREDISPOSITION … PRESENTATION … FOLLOW-UP.
    3. THE ENGAGEMENT TOOL. This one-page PRESENTATION FLOW, at altitude, has become an absolutely indispensable part of our client and coaching success.

Special Note: We are committed in 2014 to continue bringing you as many ideas and frameworks and nuggets as we can to help you make an even greater IMPACT. Stay tuned for re-designed ForImpact.org to better serve as a resource.

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December 9, 2013 | Tom Suddes


Jason H., a For Impact Tribe Member, shared the following graphic from Anna Vital.

Click to see full size version.

Makes a great point. Your personal life, starting something that matters, a lot more.

***Still trying to figure out how we at For Impact can IMPACT 198,000,000 people!

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December 5, 2013 | Nick Fellers

Meet Farnam Street. And, think.

I’m excited to share with you the crown jewel of the Internet.

Meet Farnam Street: (Seeking wisdom by mastering the best of what other people have figured out).

It’s not really a blog.  It’s more like a feed of incredible tools to help you THINK.

Farnam Street is run by Shane Parrish.  I know three people who read as much as he does: Charlie Munger, Bill Gates, and Tom Suddes.

For Impact | The Suddes Group is sponsoring Farnam Street. We’re really proud of this partnership because we feel like it gives us a chance to invest in the sharing of ancient wisdom and modern thinking – in the form of digestible nuggets.

The Suddes Group has been working ‘in the field’ since 1983, delivering funding results for organizations. We have been packaging and sharing our thinking via For Impact (website, training, publishing) since 2000.

Clients tell us again and again, “We chose to work with you for your clear thinking, simple approach, and transformational results.” I don’t need to hire a branding consultant to see the value in more statements like that.

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, that’s why so few people engage in it.” - Henry Ford

So brand-building, partnerships… all that’s great.  On a more meta level I believe, simply, Shane and Farnam Street are providing tons of value to the universe. That’s impact.
We’re FOR  IMPACT. I’ll invest in that.

Thanks, Shane.

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December 4, 2013 | Nick Fellers

December Teleseminars: Sharing the best coaching from 2013

This month we’re delivering three teleseminars. Teleseminars are:

  • Short 45-minute bursts of learning. They package and share the most popular takeaways from our coaching and training.
  • Designed for alums, past clients and long-timer followers to provide reinforcement and continued value.
  • Practical – above all else.
  • $45 or free for the first 45 registrants.

Join us…

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December 3, 2013 | Tom Suddes

STORYLINES. STORYBOARDS. STORYTELLING. The Power of Story transcends just about everything.

I thought this would be a good follow-up to Seth Godin’s thoughts on STORY.

Everything you do should be built around a STORY!

STORYLINES. STORYBOARDS. STORYTELLING. The Power of Story transcends just about everything.

The POWER of STORYTELLING is a given. It goes back, literally, to the beginning of humankind! STORIES are, without question, the most meaningful way to communicate any (and I mean ANY) MESSAGE!

Here’s a simple test: Ask any of your Volunteer Leaders or Board Members (or even key staff) if they would rather:




STORY helps with the Open, Dialogue, Conversation, and much more. Building, telling, sharing your STORY is ALL you need to do. And I mean that pretty literally.

In our For Impact world, ‘SHARE THE STORY’ is about:

  3. STORIES … Your Story. Their Story. Org Story.

Read more

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December 3, 2013 | Tom Suddes

What Do We Get When We Give To A Good Cause?

I get Seth Godin’s blog every day. Most of them cause me to think. Some of them give me good ideas.

Here’s one of his lastest posts that I’m simply going to pass on to you to read … because it’s that applicable to our world.


Seth’s answer: A STORY!!!

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