If you’ve read some of my other blog posts, you’ve probably figured out that I love TV and movies, see Baby Yoda and Sesame Street.

As I re-watch the show in anticipation for the final season of the long-running TV show Supernatural, it crossed my mind that many of you have fundraising programs that have been in market for just as long (if not longer) than the show’s 15 seasons. Despite the fictional content of the show, I was amazed at how many real-life lessons I took away (à la this list from Screen Rant) that we can apply to our work in the fundraising arena:

1. Don’t judge a book by its cover

Nothing is ever how it seems on the surface. Make sure you are looking at your data, both quantitative and qualitative, to understand what is really going on.


2. You can do many things on your own but you can be so much stronger when you are part of a team

Capitalize on your strengths and enlist others to offset your weaknesses.

3. Teamwork makes the dream work.

Even if you are a department of one, you aren’t truly alone. Whether they are your colleagues, volunteers, vendors or partners, you all share a passion for your mission and have complementary skills to bring to the table.

4. The distance between here and there may be great, but you don’t have to get there in a single day.

It’s always smart to have a roadmap outlining where you are and where you are trying to go. But remember, there are multiple paths to get there. If you find one way blocked, check the map and forge a new path.

5. There are no superheroes out there that are going to miraculously make things okay

You are the superhero of your life — and while it may be hard, and it may sometimes hurt, you can do this!

6. Make sure you have the right tools in your toolbox.

Different programs require different tools. You can hammer a nail into a board with a screwdriver, but it would be a lot easier if you had a hammer

7. Learn from your mistakes and failures.

Not everything works the first time out, so dust yourself off, stand up and figure out what went wrong. Some of the greatest fundraising programs started out making $0 in their first (and even second years), but if they had given up at that point, they would have missed out on millions of dollars!!

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

This is an incredible community with big brains! Have a problem you can’t solve? Ask around. Chances are someone has come up against it before and can provide some great advice or even actively help

9. There is always time to plan.

Take a deep breath and evaluate the situation before diving in. It always works out better when you do.

10. No matter how well planned you are, expect the unexpected.

You probably know from experience that no matter how well you have things in place, glitches and last-minute changes crop up, so you have to be ready to just roll with it.

About the Author

Sue Dalos
Principal Consultant