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Action Memo: A donor comes to you with a blank check…

I don’t know about you but there’s something about summertime that makes me want to forget about all the tedious, nose-to-the-grindstone tasks on the to-do list. To OOO my email, mute notifications and play hooky. Preferably on the beach somewhere, gazing out at a shimmering, turquoise horizon.

OK, that last bit may be wishful thinking. And that’s what we’re here for today. Summertime can make life seem a little more spacious. It’s a perfect opportunity to dream big and vision up the future. 

Taking a break to do this every now and then will keep your eye on the long game. It’ll replenish your energy stores and give you fuel to keep going. It will get you out of the tedium of your day-to-day work for a little while. Don’t get me wrong: That day-to-day work is necessary, of course. It’s what ultimately gets you to mission success. But a little visualization will inspire you along the way. 

Now… Action! 🎬

Step 1

Set the timer for 20 minutes (when you’re ready to go, click here for an online timer at the ready) and grab something to document with (text doc, pen and paper, voice memo – however you take notes).

Step 2

Give yourself a time frame, be it a year, 5 years, 50 years. The time frame is totally up to you, but decide on it first.

Step 3

Then reflect in free-form on the following prompts:

  • If a donor came to you right now with a blank check and said you could make it out for any amount you wish but you had to spend it out within the time frame you set in step 2, how much would that check be for? 
  • You’ve deposited the check in the bank. There are no restrictions in how you use the funding, so what do you spend it on?  
  • You’ve spent it all! What is the impact you’ve made? In your life, the lives of your team and organization, and certainly the lives of those who are served by your mission. What glorious and positive change have you made in the world?

If this has been helpful to you, please consider making a donation! Your contribution is deeply appreciated and supports all of the free programming at Open Rivers.

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