I have experienced several shuddering cases of couldas, wouldas, shouldas in my career as a fundraiser. I too, have endured a frightful time of head shaking and mournfully wondering why, oh why did I do that? Or more depressing, why, oh why didn’t we do that?

There was the time we strategized for just the right approach to ask a potential donor for a gift to a campaign. After many weeks of planning we were ready. Ready that is until we learned he died of a heart attack two days before.

I worked with several individuals that wanted to get their will just perfect before they marched in to see their lawyer. They filed into their graves before perfection was achieved.

Once a potential donor brought his checkbook to a meeting with the executive director and the chair of the board of a charity. He planned to make a gift if asked. BUT the chair of the board neglected to ask for a gift. He thought it was not quite the perfect time to ask for a gift. Unfortunately for that organization the gift went to another charity. Can you imagine?

When I look back, I too am startled by my lack of perfection AND that so much was accomplished anyway. It is an astonishing surprise that capital campaigns met goal; hospital wings were erected on the backs of generous donors from all walks of life; and legacies are passed on that brought a tear to the eye when the will was read.

We are less than perfect…not even remotely, or in any smidgeon of life, do we approach the perfect. Yet, with the help of our friends and relatives who love us anyway, much is accomplished. In the midst of acknowledging our imperfection we can try again knowing we are not alone facing death, wrinkles, taxes or our career. Make a new list each day and carry on.

What’s on your list? Is your will up to date? Will you make the call you have put off from last week?

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