October 5, 2012 | Tom Suddes

Think Big. Act Now. Change Ireland.

Shout out to my friends at Social Entrepreneur’s Ireland! Big Awards Dinner coming up on 18th of October. (Last year I had privilege and pleasure of speaking at this.)

Good Luck! Miss you guys!

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October 3, 2012 | Tom Suddes

The NEW Funding Roadmap

One of the big LEAPS in preparing for the AFP session last week in Colorado Springs was a re-design/modification/change in the wording on our FUNDING ROADMAP. (Just like our model, this has gone through way too many iterations to count!)

In the ‘blue’ step #2… we have moved from CASE RATIONALE FOR SUPPORT… to VALUE PROPOSITION… and now to a much clearer ‘FUNDING RATIONALE’!

Nick and our Team are in the field every day… using this ROADMAP to help raise millions of dollars. We’ve decided that the best 3 words to help YOU in this model are:


A lot of really good implications and results from using these words.

  • Clearly forces you to answer the 3 questions of every investor.
      1. WHERE does the money go?
      2. WHY does it go there?
      3. WHO decided that?
  • Also forces you to DO THE MATH! Almost impossible to justify Case for Support or build the Funding Rationale without doing and understanding the MATH!
  • Helps tie your IMPACT to your INCOME.
  • Helps get ‘numbers on the table’.
  • Once you have done the work on the FUNDING RATIONALE, it can be transferred visually to your Engagement Tool.
  • And much, much, much more.

As always, I hope this helps you to generate significantly more INCOME in order to fund your IMPACT!

***I told the AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) audience in Colorado Springs they were the green people and “GREEN PEOPLE need to help the BLUE PEOPLE!”

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October 2, 2012 | Tom Suddes

Today | Tomorrow | Forever Model… and STAFFING!

Last week our shared our ‘new’ version of the Today | Tomorrow | Forever Model. Got some great feedback. My favorite response was from Andrea: “Love it – now tell me the ideal staffing model to support it!”

Andrea (and all others), I LOVE this response/question… and here is my really SIMPLE answer:


In shorthand:

  • Reallocate your talent to support the gold… the green… the purple. Probably can do 5X to 10X the INCOME… with same budget.
  • Cross-train your staff and team to not only understand TTF… but be able to present it!
  • If you’re a BIG operation, then you would have multiple people working on ‘Lifetime Relationships’ (e.g. Alumni Association Team, etc.)
    You would have a team assigned to fill the ‘top of the funnel’ (when the model is turned upside down). Annual Fund, Leadership Societies, etc.
    You would have a very dedicated sales team working on the ‘green’ around the organization or institution’s priorities.
    That team would also be able to present the ‘purple’ around Legacy and Transformational Gifts.
  • If you are a SMALL org (one-two person shop), you need to do ALL of the above.

***Andrea, another great part of your question has to do with the people who are working on ‘stuff’ that is not on this sheet or in this model. You need to RE-ASSIGN those people immediately to support TTF!

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October 2, 2012 | Tom Suddes

John Maxwell: Impact Drives Income

John Maxwell is one of the few people who actually deserves title of ‘Living Legend’. He and his team have trained over 5 million Leaders in 153 countries. He has sold more than 20 million business and self-improvement books in his 40-year career. (However, I have ‘sold’ 20 books in my 40-year career. I am working hard to change that number.)

This is John Maxwell’s marketing announcement for his LIVE call coming up on Wednesday, October 3rd: ‘IMPACT DRIVES INCOME’.

John Maxwell: Impact Drives Income

In all of Maxwell’s material I have read over the years, I have never seen him use ‘Impact Drives Income’ phraseology. This FOR IMPACT ‘MOVEMENT‘ is the place to be.

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September 28, 2012 | Tom Suddes

Simple Message Reinforced

Jump Start Your Brain
“A customer can say ‘NO’ because the offer doesn’t apply to them;
but NEVER because they don’t UNDERSTAND IT!”

Doug Hall, Jumpstart Your Brain

Re-read this brilliant thought. Are people saying NO to you because they don’t

(Even better: Do they understand your Funding Rationale?)

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September 27, 2012 | Tom Suddes


Big reminder this week: BUILD SIMPLE!

Entrepreneur’s Mantra: THINK BIG. BUILD SIMPLE. ACT NOW.

The whole ‘BUILD SIMPLE‘ thing is a really, really big deal. It is one of our most powerful ‘nuggets’ and resonates with just about every single person we are with.

Here are some great QUOTES on Simplicity.

  • “Simplify. Simplify. Always simplify.” Thoreau
  • “What can be done with fewer assumptions is done in vain with more.” Sir William Ockham, Ockham’s Razor
  • “Simplicity equals SPEED.” Jack Welch
  • “Speed doesn’t kill.” The Old Guy
  • “If you feel like you’re still in control, you’re not going FAST ENOUGH.” Mario Andretti

The BIG THOUGHT on SIMPLICITY for the week:


  • The Gettysburg Address was 272 words!
    (9 words say it all.) 1… Nation… Indivisible…With… Liberty… and… Justice… for… All.
  • Washington’s First Inaugural Speech was 134 words!
  • The Declaration of Independence can be summarized in 3 big words: LIFE… LIBERTY… HAPPINESS.


  • EINSTEIN’S THEORY OF RELATIVITY was written on 3 PAGES… summarized in 3 WORDS… and then reduced again to 3 LETTERS!!!
    3 Pages. 3 Words. 3 Letters.

It takes most people in our industry 3 pages just to ‘introduce’ their organization, as a preface for a 30-page proposal or grant request, followed another 30-page addendum!

Challenge for the Week: WHAT’S YOUR SIMPLE MESSAGE?

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September 26, 2012 | Tom Suddes

For Impact’s Revised Funding Model

We have just revised our TODAY | TOMORROW | FOREVER RELATIONSHIP-BASED FUNDING MODEL. There are (at least) 19 nuggets on this visual attachment.

This model actually began almost 30 years ago in our work with Catholic High Schools around the country. I called it the Ideal Development Office. Since then, it’s gone through way too many iterations to count.

I would LOVE your feedback!

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September 25, 2012 | Tom Suddes

The Fire Hose and the Cup

I’m off to Colorado this week, to be with our For Impact West (amazing) Team, our CHI Partners and to do a BIG PRESENTATION to AFP (Colorado Springs).

Here is the visual for my 120-minute presentation.

I am the FIRE HOSE. They are the CUP.

I promised myself (and them) that I will give them multiple opportunities to empty their cup… before I refill it again.

Also challenging them to get out of their comfort zone… since I am going WAAAAY out of mine. I’m going to give them our 6 best Frameworks and at least 49 Nuggets (think ‘Goldrush‘). They’ll need seatbelts.

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September 17, 2012 | Tom Suddes

‘Sweet Treats’

I was presenting to a Hospital Foundation Board last week… and these cookies were at everyone’s spot at the table.

Sweet Treats

This is one of the best and most engaged Boards I’ve ever been with… which says a lot, since I’ve done one million Board Meetings. (Slight hyperbole. Just seems that many.)

I love this ‘sweet treat’ because it reinforced with the Foundation Board that their ‘job’ is to help raise money (INCOME) for the Hospital/Community (IMPACT).

*BTW. They get it! They’re doing their Champion/Invite/Invest role…and providing exceptional support to the staff.

What would your Board do if you gave them these cookies? (Just eat them?)

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September 10, 2012 | Tom Suddes

Desultory Development

des·ul·to·ry adj ⁄´de-səl,tôr-ē⁄

Lacking a plan, purpose or enthusiasm. (As in) “The normal development office is desultory.”

Don’t be normal. Define your purpose. Get a plan. Do it with enthusIASM. (I Am Sold Myself.)

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