Nonprofits: Why There is Power in Small Wins

Jul 15, 2021Leadership

Celebrate-wins Leadership

There is power in small wins. No doubt, a “win” is a step forward, no matter how big or small. When you celebrate your wins, it will lift your motivation and increase your productivity. Here's why!

There is Power in Small Wins

In the group coaching program I offer to nonprofit leaders, at the beginning of our one-hour time together each week, students are to share their fundraising wins from the previous week.

Well, we had a new student join the group last month. It was maybe her second session with the group, and it was her turn to speak. As such, she stated she couldn’t think of any wins to share. It was a busy week and not a lot of time to focus on fundraising. 

Then, she talked about her week – the connections she had made, the introductions that took place, the people stepping up to help. There were powerful conversations that took place!

Likewise, she visited with a grant funder and was invited to submit a proposal – an invitation not everyone receives from this grantor!

While the more she heard herself talk about her week and others share their wins, her face lite up. She realized she had lots of wins that week!

Recognize Small Wins

No question, the reason it’s important to recognize your daily or weekly wins — large and small — is because it makes you recognize progress and advancements toward your goals.

Not every win will be bringing in $25,000, $50,000, or $1M!

Certainly, securing large gifts does not happen overnight.

It’s the small steps that are important.

There is power in small wins.

For example, if you don’t have those meaningful conversations with potential major donors, you are not likely to secure a large gift from those donors.

You want to celebrate progress in your work.

Because the work you do matters.

And the small progress you make every day. . . motivates you to keep going.

Making Progress and Advancements in Meaningful Work

You’ve heard of the Progress Principle, right?

It means making progress and advancements in meaningful work is the single most important thing that can lift your emotions and increase your motivation.

So change your thinking about recognizing your wins.

Small wins turn into big wins.

Definitely, celebrate them, and know you are moving in the right direction

— in reaching your goals

— in raising significant money for your nonprofit.


Bottom line: a small win can make all the difference in the world in how you feel and perform.

Here's how to get going with small wins!

Remember, what gets scheduled, get done!

Nancy Rieves, Ed.D. is a fundraising coach. She provides executive and development directors with a roadmap to maximize and sustain major gift fundraising. She prepares leaders to be confident and successful in raising money. Reach her at nancy@nancyrieves.com.


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