I was a good student. It gave me many advantages in life – scholarships for travel and more education, and a now unnecessary understanding of trigonometry. But once out of school, my good grades may have been a hindrance.

After all, once we are out in the world and the workplace, there is no set of steps that you follow to move on up, getting graded at each level. It is much more mixed up, and some days it feels like you get the test before the instructions.

But there’s hope. Whether school set you up to seek perfect grades, or scared you away for fear of failure, there is a way to approach something new, no teacher required.

Step 1: Break it down: what is the smallest next step that moves you toward your goal?

Chances you already have an idea. Great! If you don’t and need to do some research, keep it short or you’ll find yourself in the internet rabbit hole. You don’t need the BEST step, just the next step that you can actually take.

Step 2: Get in action: TAKE the step.

Don’t wait until all things are perfect, you have extra time, or you feel ready. Confidence is a product of taking action, not a prerequisite. And hold that action lightly – this is just one step, not THE step.

Step 3: Congratulate yourself!

Close the loop on this step before you rush off to the next one. What happened? How do you feel? What results were you expecting? Were those realistic results? How do you know?

Here at Tiny Frog Strategies, we believe that fundraising is a skill set that can be taught. And sure, you can go back to school or get a certification, and it might be a good idea in certain circumstances. But for many of us, fundraising is only part of the work we do. In this case we don’t need to be experts, we just need to be in action, and hopefully headed in the right direction.

If legacy giving (also known as planned giving) is on your plate to learn, Legacy Jump Start is a support for people who are ready to take action – it’s not about credentials or being planned giving experts, it’s about the smallest steps you can take to make legacy giving part of the fundraising tool box at your organization.

It’s about taking action with one donor.

One person who might see your invitation to make a gift that goes beyond their lifetime as a marvelous idea, one that would indeed extend the values they’ve held during their lifetime, such as supporting the arts, the environment, or their community, far into the future.

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