Yogi Berra made significant contributions to baseball, humor and fundraising. Wait, fundraising? Yes, fundraising. Whether he knew it or not, Yogi gave us a number useful insights for making the most of your college’s fundraising efforts. As with all of life’s most important lessons, his wisdom is simple yet powerful. Here are a few of my favorites.
“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.
It goes without saying that foundations exist to help the college fulfill its mission and your planning no doubt reflects this fact. Yogi’s admonition, however, is really about reminding us to make sure that your constituents know where your college is going. Otherwise, how can they help you get there?
“It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.”
This observation is Yogi’s way of reminding us to spend less time talking to our donors and more time listening to them.
“You can observe a lot by just watching.”
He’s telling us to occasionally take time to walk around campus, chat with a few students and accept the stranger’s invitation to lunch. Opportunities often come from unexpected places, but you have to be watching for them.