Whiling The Time Away...

on in Fundraising

It’s the end of our fiscal year, and we’re making our way through audit prep at a leisurely pace.

(Can anyone do anything other than at a leisurely pace, in this heat? But I digress…)

One of the tasks I get to do each year is go through everyone’s timesheets in QuickBooks (oh joy! I remember when we did these by hand), checking for errors but also scanning how we, as an agency, spend our time.

What does our pie chart look like?

And – the $64,000 question – does it match our strategic priorities?


We’ve gotten used to looking at income and expense pie charts in the nonprofit sector, and weighing programmatic versus administrative expenditures.

But the one true zero sum game in this lifetime is time. No more than 24 hours in a day, and we have to sleep for some of it.

Ten minutes more for this activity, means ten minutes less for that. (Or, more likely, less recovery time.)

Time-vs-Money.pngDoing a pie chart for my time, as CEO, was quite revelatory. It followed my agency’s priorities for the last year – what had actually happened – but also answered my mystified question: What happened to new funder cultivation?

I didn’t spend much time on it and, lo and behold, not much results.

Sure, phone calls and other time distractions happen. We start the week with good intentions and end it skidding towards list-triage mode.

But how we spend our time is, ultimately, where our agency heads.

Worth thinking about (and dare I say it, spending some time on) in these lazy days of summer…

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