It’s the time of year when football teams are taking the field in anticipation of a winning season.

Such was the case 55 years ago in Green Bay, WI. The previous season had ended in heartbreaking defeat for the Packers when they squandered a fourth-quarter lead to lose the NFL championship to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Determined to vindicate themselves, the players gathered for the first day of training camp in July 1961. They were eager to work on the details of their game that would take them to the next level and earn them the championship.

Coach Vince Lombardi had a different idea. “Gentlemen,” he said, holding a pigskin, “this is a football.” And so began a training program focused on the fundamentals. Thirty-eight professional athletes reviewed and practiced how to block, how to tackle, and the other basics. Lombardi knew that it is the fundamentals, and the repetition of the fundamentals—over and over again, without making mistakes—that make for the win.

Six months later, the Packers beat the New York Giants 37–0 to win the NFL championship.

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”

—Vince Lombardi


This month, take time to enhance your ability to execute the fundamentals of donor development. Pull out your Advancement Resources workbooks and flip through the pages while considering:

    • What concepts or tools did you find most valuable when you participated in the workshop? How have you applied them? What were the results?
    • What concepts or tools have you forgotten about? What opportunities have you missed to use them?
    • What concepts or tools apply to your current situations with donors and potential donors? What actions will you take to implement them?


Master the fundamentals and success will take care of itself.

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