Quantity vs Quality

quantity-vs-qualityEverything I was taught growing up focused on the idea that quality was better than quantity. My father was always reinforcing that, especially with these two sayings:

Measure twice, cut once. 

If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well.

And when I cook, I associate quality over quantity. (There are some places, say at a summer camp, where quantity over quality might be preferred…)

Today I read Sasha Dichter’s post, “Fifty Pounds of Clay” and after a few paragraphs I began thinking how perfectly this fit into fundraising. The post recounts an experiment by a ceramics teacher who told half of his class they would be graded by the sheer weight of the pieces they made – the quantity of their output. The other half would be graded on one object – the quality of their output.

Well, come grading time a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity.  It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work and learning from their mistakes, the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

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Give Thanks

You Rock card

The other days a friend messaged me: “You are remarkably good at ‘gratitude.'”

I felt humbled. Maybe I am good at gratitude.

Or maybe I’m just better at taking the time to tell people, “I appreciate who you are, I appreciate what you have done, I appreciate how you have touched me.”

I believe lots of people are thankful and grateful… But sometimes it’s easier to natter on about the challenges, the things that go sideways, the things that you want to change rather than taking a moment to be thank-ful.

I prefer to tell the person face to face over a coffee or lunch or a drink after work.

But usually it is more timely (and easier if they don’t live in Vancouver or Seattle) to grab a card and start writing. He or she may be someone who has been a thoughtful friend or a person who has inspired or touched me.

Be-The-Change-GandhiWriting letters and notes has been a big part of my life… perhaps since passing notes in class, or when I lived in England after high school and wrote letters every day to a States-side boyfriend. Birthday and anniversary cards are “must” remembrances on my mother’s side of the family. And love notes via post to my husband and daughter are common. (When my daughter, Lorraine, was younger and away with her father, I would send notes in packages decorated with fanciful drawings of animals.)

Most people I know are delighted to get something in the mail – something that is not a bill or flyer or junk mail.

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Interview with Fundraising Yoda

If you are a fundraiser and have been active on twitter, you likely have come across the new master fundraiser, FundraisingYoda. He has a CFRJ (Certified Fund Raising Jedi) and lots of wisdom to share.

I asked Fundraising Yoda for his time so I might seek answers to questions I had. He graciously obliged. 

Below is excellent advice for fundraisers – or anyone working professionally and building relationships.


FundraiserBethPeople come to a fundraising career from different paths… how did you move from training Jedi to becoming a fundraiser?



FundraisingYoda: Too commercialized, training Jedi, was becoming, and no longer meaningful for Yoda. Had become all about the glory and money, it did. Self-aware, Yoda is, and knew change was needed. Ran charity gala on Sullust for victims of volcanic activity, and renewed sense of purpose, Yoda felt.

Beth: What skills do you think are most transferable from Jedi to Fundraiser?

Yoda: Patience. Determination. Strength. Vulnerability. Courage. Passion. Vision. Justice. Integrity. Being helpful. All traits of great Jedi and fundraisers alike, these are.

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