After a really busy week, I was looking forward to a pretty laid back weekend. I had decided that starting Friday afternoon I was committed to being uncommitted to any major plans or projects. In keeping with my mandate, on Saturday I did something thoroughly unproductive but especially fun: I read a review of every album by my favorite band, Yes. I was surprised when an online reviewer noted that it was "too bad the guitarist phoned it in" on one of my favorite records. I disagreed: the guitar work on the album was quite good and in fact quite the opposite of a "phoned in" performance. I'm leaving out the name of the album as I wouldn't want to color the opinions of other fans or future listeners.
Saturday's activity got me thinking about the concept of phoning it in as I've seen the term used to describe performances ranging from artistic to political. What does it mean and how can we tell if someone is in fact, phoning it in? It seemed there are no hard and fast rules for determining whether someone is doing so and highly subject to the opinions of others. The urban dictionary (www.urbandictionary.com) provides a helpful definition: To perform an act in a perfunctory, uncommitted fashion, as if it didn't matter. There was a harsher definition but I don't want to offend....
With this in mind, I thought I'd share a few suggestions for ensuring that we're not "phoning it in" when it comes to our performance as fundraisers:
Robert Grabel is the President of Nonprofit Now! You can find his posts here and at www.robertgrabel.com
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