List Making

I am a list maker. I feel unfinished if I don’t have a list to hand of things to do, books to read, exhibits to see, restaurants to try. I keep lists of current clients, outstanding proposals, projects to finish or to start. Often, when my to do list, especially, is either done or hasn’t been updated for awhile, I feel frantic, sure I have tons and tons of stuff that I need to accomplish. And then, I take a deep breath, and make the darn list.

Most of the time, I find that—actually—there isn’t all that much to do. And even if there is more than I would strictly like, if I just go down the list, purposefully, it all gets done before any deadline looms.

It’s the reason I push (and push, and push) my clients to have a written development implementation plan. This is not all the verbiage that we all put into plans explaining what we are doing and why, clarifying definitions, explaining our rationale. This is the part of the plan that says:

  • This is what we are doing,
  • This is when we are doing it,
  • This is who our target audience is,
  • This is who is responsible,
  • This is how much we intend to raise and
  • This is how much it will cost.

Once you know these things, you can get to work, actually doing these things.

Janet Levine works with nonprofits, helping them to increase fundraising capacity.  Learn more at  


About janetlevineconsulting

For over 20 years, Janet Levine has worked for and with nonprofit and educational organizations, helping to grow their advancement programs. Her consulting company, Janet Levine Consulting, serves a wide range of organizations from small, all-volunteer agencies to major national organizations. She regularly teaches courses in non-profit management, fundraising and grant development, both face-to-face and online at In addition to her nonprofit work, Janet brings years of experience as a business and sales manager in the for-profit sector. She has an MBA from the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University.
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