#147 Measuring Impact with Sybil & Fred Ackerman-MunsonSep 24, 2023
Measuring impact is important so that you will have ownership over your giving strategy for years to come. Fred and Sybil discuss strategies to effectively measure performance over time. They also emphasize that success takes time. Giving is as much an art as it is a science. They also talk about measurable objectives that a donor should consider when assessing the success of their giving strategy.
- How do we measure success
- What happens when we don’t see the success we want?
- Traps to avoid.
- How to track benchmarks
Sybil Ackerman-Munson Bio:
With over 20 years of experience as a nonprofit professional and foundation advisor, I work with philanthropic institutions and foundations interested in successful, high-impact grant-making so that you can make a real and lasting positive contribution to the world on your terms.
- Be Collaborative - https://www.doyourgood.com/offers/PXGEYkWh/checkout
- Be Finance Savvy - https://www.doyourgood.com/offers/kQwFWG4P/checkout
- Be Legal - https://www.doyourgood.com/offers/U8SFR3mR/checkout
If you enjoyed this episode, listen to these as well:
Crack the Code: Sybil’s Successful Guide to Philanthropy
Become even better at what you do as Sybil teaches you the strategies as well as the tools you’ll need to avoid mistakes and make a career out of philanthropy.
Sybil offers resources that include special free short video mini-courses, templates, and key check lists and words of advice summarized in easy to review pdfs.
- Check out Sybil’s website with all the latest opportunities to learn from Sybil at
Connect with Do Your Good
Would you like to talk with Sybil directly?
Hello, everybody. We are trying out a new space for our microphone, and hopefully, this will work out OK.
Today, we will talk about measuring impact, and many folks ask, “OK, I've given a grant or a donation to a nonprofit. How the heck do I know if it even mattered?” and that's what the whole month is focused on: how do we measure impact? How do we think about it? And I'm so excited to talk about this with you, Fred because I want to clarify some things I put forth in my Sybil Speaks episode.
So, I want to talk about that too. So, folks, don't go away. You'll hear my special editions and clarifications on my Sybil Speaks Episode.
Clarifications. Do you have regrets about what? You.
I do. I do. Actually, no, it's not regret. It's more. I want to clarify some things.
OK, well, I want to hear what that is.
I'm going to do that, but yeah, yeah, I will. But I'm not going to. That's a teaser for folks so that they can listen through the whole thing.
Fred, you are a longtime Grantmaker. And as a philanthropist working for the foundation that you work for as executive director, over many, many years, how many years has it been again?
19 years. So yeah, I know. But full-time, as you're the foundation's executive director you're running now.
So, over those 19 years, you evaluated the effectiveness of grants, donations, campaigns, and projects. The foundation you work for is thinking about how you do that, honey. How? How do you think about success, and what happens when something's not that successful in your mind? How do you sort of stay nimble?
Wow, there's so much there. And it's so different with different grants. And different things that we're trying to achieve. One thing that I've told a lot of people is that grant-making is both an art and a science. The art part is recognizing when there's enough confluence of events and desire, nonprofits, smart ideas, and motivated people know they've got a chance to create real change, and you need all that stuff. Even when you have all that stuff, it doesn't guarantee success.
You can put together the best project imaginable as a nonprofit or as a funder, and you must realize that you still have your odds of success in any given year or two. Probably 50-50 at best.
Is that the key, though, a year or two? Because that's one thing I talk about a lot. Success, as the UN quote says, can take many, many, many, many years. So, you have to have a little bit of faith, too. That's maybe not even the art or science. It's faith as well.
You have to; you have to be. Yes, you must be committed to the issue you're working on.
Faith in what you believe in. You must be committed to the issue you're working on, right? So why don't you expand on that a little bit? And I'd like to hear your thoughts there.
Well, so we're talking about measuring impact. If you are trying to do something big, like a societal change in a societal norm, whatever it may be, you can think of many examples of movements over time in history that have created big changes in this country. You'll see that they succeed at one point during that movement, and within a year or two, they move forward. Create the societal change they've worked for and wanted to work for, whether it's gay marriage, women's right to vote, or civil rights. There are big things that happen.
So, if how you measure success is just, did we get that big thing to happen? Yeah, that's one measure. But the thing is, it took 10/20/30/50/1000 years of work before.
To get to the point where that big thing happens.
Right, exactly so.
First, the big trap is not to fall into it; don't expect it in two years. For your grantees to change the world.
Right. So how does that then connect to staying motivated and excited about your work? The thing, though, because you might happen to be in a moment in time where there's some huge societal change that's happening within that two-year time frame, and you might jump in and fund that, and it might be exciting for you, whatever it is you care about, or you might be in sort of a lull period of the issue that you care so much about. You see all these problems and feel like you're giving grants. They're essentially just Band-Aids. You're like, why? Am I only doing this?
I guess I'm going to dig into that a little bit because I've seen that happen where donors say, oh, we care about climate change issues, or, you know, the fact that climate change is happening, or we care about people experiencing homelessness, or you name the issue, and then the donor and funder are frustrated, and you're frustrated because. You say, OK, we need these big changes, and I've been giving donations to these groups. I'm not seeing that. I'm not seeing any change, so I'm not seeing that. Impact on the ground. And then they leave. They leave the issue altogether, so let's talk about this. If you're that kind of funder where you're like, oh, yeah, I hear you, Sybil; I've been given to this issue forever and see no change.
You know, the first thing we want to say to you, Fred, and I is to have faith. Whatever you care about, if the groups do a good job over time, they'll be in the right place at the right time. Change can happen. OK.
But beyond that, there's additional work that you can do as a donor to sort of help prepare nonprofits for that moment when a big, huge shift can happen. For that change, that problem can then be solved.
So maybe there are some things we can advise folks to do even in the “lull times” when it's there so that you don't leave so that you as a donor don't leave the issue that you keep going. You keep supporting those nonprofits even when the big moment of change is not upon us immediately.
As you said earlier, having faith means being committed. That's the key in the beginning. If you're doing this because you strongly believe in it for moral, religious, or whatever reasons, maybe you've been personally impacted by an issue. Maybe you just love big trees and want to save all the old-growth forest, whatever it is.
Like that, you picked that example, honey.
It's not like you haven't been working on that one.
I don't know why I picked that one, but after a little while if you're committed, it's a matter of trying to see the pathways. Seek out the things that are needed. Realize that part of your job as a donor is to try to bring together all the needed things. It doesn't guarantee success, so you must keep at it. Since we're talking about measurement, a second piece of this is benchmarks. You can talk with your grantees involved in a long-term fight and still say, OK, what are your benchmarks for the next two or five years? Where do you want to be?
I don't like the word fight. So that you know,
OK, sorry for the effort.
Yeah, because, as you know, it's not always.
It's not always a fight. You're right. But the thing is, sometimes it's OK, so think about it like you've got to accomplish something. You're going to build a building, right?
Yeah. No. And I love that you're getting into it like we were. Just woo-woo there in the beginning. OK, everybody listening to this? That was Fred and I. That's about it, Woo as we get older, faith is art, not science. And for you, for you all listening. You might be like, alright, already. This is where I would be right now. OK. They've talked like woo-woos. Have faith. Yeah, right. But I'm still not inspired. I feel like I've just been giving money, and I still have no idea. Like what? I'm not going just to have faith. I want to, like, have some benchmarks and understand. How can I ensure that what I'm giving makes sense?
And so, why don't we get into some of those pieces, even though I want to start this conversation a little more woo woo, because I want to be sure that you know that no matter what benchmarks or measurables you put out there, it is about faith—your faith in what you're doing. Your belief in what you're doing is why I do training. If there's a situation where you, as a donor, aren't committed and it's not the issue you're funding, it's not something that you care about deeply. That's your passion about.
That's a real problem, then, no matter. No, no amount of measurement of the issue will keep you. There. So that's the first thing: you don't want to waste time and money by jumping into an issue that other people think you should fund. Instead, you must do the good work upfront to ensure you're digging into the issue you care about. OK, then you can know those things, and that's this whole Woo Woo part.
Make sure you have faith. Make sure. You love it. And know that it takes a long time. OK, but now I want to get into, so you're funding an issue or causing something you care about. How do we go about, as funders, thinking through, you know, what are the benchmarks we want to make sure we're tracking overtime, and because we are going to want to look at some key items to make sure that? We're giving to something that matters and making a difference without wasting people's time and money.
So, let's talk about that more, and I know you. I have a lot of thoughts on that.
Sure, sure. Well, that's OK. So, in some styles of giving and issue areas, it's easier than others. So, if you're in direct service, you're helping hungry, homeless people, or whatever. And then you can get metrics from your grantee like we housed 350 people each year.
Yeah. And you can decide that that's important to you. What can I say? I hope you know that when I give this grant, I expect they will house 500 people. Oh, I see. They only housed 300 people. OK, we didn't meet that metric. Let's talk about why. You know, that kind of thing.
So it is really clear, sir. But it's in service. Those are kinds of service grants. I'm going to plant X number of trees, or I'm going to do this. It's the simplest. It's as simple as a donation or grant to measure, right?
Yes, except for Here's Back to the Woo Woo. Then you have to ask yourself: Is housing for 350 people enough?
I know that's where I was hoping you'd say that. Right.
Because then you go back to OK. I want my impact to be even bigger. How do you figure out how to do that? So that's a lot of your classes. It's about going to the experts. It's about talking to people and figuring out strategies. Yeah, to increase your impact.
But before you go, right? Right. But I want to stay here because I like how you're setting this up. Because we're talking service first, OK, we're saying OK. Do you want a house? Three hundred people, or you want to have 500 people, and they own it, but the organization only has 300. You can see that that metric was either met or not met. And in this case, it wasn't. You can talk to them about it. Even your guess of how much money they might need is A to B to C to D. OK, so that's the simplest way to measure progress.
And here's what I think gets people stressed: what you alluded to. It's rarely enough to measure success that way unless you only fund services on the issue you care about, where people are planting trees or doing XY and Z. And that it only works if you're alone. If that only works, you can just stop and count the numbers. And being counted is the issue that you're funding. The thing is actually that there's no policy problem; there's no issue there. It's more like there is a policy to plant X number of trees or build X number of houses, and everyone agrees. There will be X number of houses built, and we need 1000 to deal with all the houses.
It's an issue in the region you care about, so you're just counting and funding the nonprofits to get to those thousand houses. Or X number of trees, or whatever it is to replant. How many times have you and I, and our years and years of giving grants, been able just to stop there?
Because there are policies like usually, you wait… 1000 houses? That's not enough. And why isn't it enough? And how can people not move into these houses because they're not being built in the right locations?
So there's going to be a policy. We need to, like, work with people to educate them. We need to fund a program. No one's paying enough attention to it, and there's not enough federal or state dollars going in. So, this is when measurement gets more complicated.
Pretty much every one of you and I don't do direct service grants.
Well, for some of my clients, I do. I just have.
Yeah, OK. Yeah.
There are lots of clients.
I don't, I should say, but everything we do is complicated, like you just described, to achieve any goal our foundation has ever worked on in conservation.
We have had to move numerous policy-level levers from local to state to national. Raise other money and bring in federal money. Any particular donor can rarely solve a big problem. You just don't have enough money to solve big societal problems. You have to work with other people. You have to have coalitions that are working together. There are all those things that we have talked about in all of your podcasts.
We are all part of how you ultimately succeed, so it's a good question. How do you measure success when there are all these moving parts? Honestly, there will be a bunch of them you don't control. At some point, you have to figure out what your niche is and what you're going to do best in terms of your funding, and then do that and just measure success based on what you're doing. First, ensure your pieces are successful, then look at the overall playing field and say OK. My piece is successful. I funded a communications campaign. It's working. But these other two pieces aren't.
Well, and that's seen; this is the part we know I had the teaser at the beginning. I wanted to. I talked more about this in my Sybil Speaks episode and then the interviews I did; I've been thinking about this all. I think about it more than just this month, but in terms of what I'm going to say, and I think I was, I was very high level in the beginning. Essentially, I'm saying to you, listeners, that it's critically important to have a clear idea of what you see as success.
Measure your donations and grants against what you see as success because what will happen if you do? Are you too reliant on the nonprofits defining that success for you? Then, if you aren't aligned with that, use the back of your head. You can get very disillusioned with what's happening. Of course, you don't want to drive the outcomes, but you want to be clear about what you see as success.
So, then you can also articulate your idea of success. With the nonprofits, you can have that discussion with them so that right in the beginning, it's really clear for the nonprofits, too, what success means to you and how you measure that so that then they can tell you if they think they're not going to be able to meet it at a certain time. You can discuss it. It's OK if a nonprofit doesn't meet the measurement of success we originally laid out. The most important thing is that the nonprofit knows what we, as donors, define as success, so they can tell us, OK, now we have to pivot. We might need more money for this piece because we won't get there.
So, at the beginning of this month, I talked about: How are you? The donor and funder should clearly understand the issue you care about and the problem you want to solve, and you need to articulate. It would be best if you were sure, you know the nonprofits well and believe they can accomplish the task. You've created a plan for yourself with the timeline and benchmarks to reach the goal of solving that problem, and you're checking your assumptions every single year to make course corrections if necessary.
And I'm always saying that. Remember to be open and creative—to creative solutions, you know, and to solutions to unforeseen obstacles. Keep it simple. Think long-term and hire an expert as an intermediary. If the problem requires it, remember that not all the best plans will succeed within the assumed time frame. So, have a plan B.
So that's what I was focusing on in general. However, I want to go into this discussion we're having right now. A little deeper. I want to consider whether this is something else I do with my clients. I talk with them about, OK, we've done all the high-level stuff. There is stuff that I just addressed there, but what is most important to you with your grants? OK, there's another level to this, so you might have somebody who wants to leverage you. OK, you want to ensure that when you give money to something, it's matched 2 -1/ 3 -1 by other philanthropic or public dollars.
And if that's important to you, then you need to be sure that you include that in your idea of success. If you want to be sure that whatever you're funding can scale, it's not enough for you that the project is local and in your area; it needs to be new and innovative enough that, like state, federal, or international leaders, decision makers will notice and start replicating it in other places. If that's important, you must ensure it's on your timeline and benchmarks.
Another important thing to you is that there is some kind of success. Some kind of success happens with a change in law or something like that within the time frame of your funding strategy. You want to look around and see if there's an opportunity for big societal change in the next two years. And then that's when you lean into that. So those are some other keys. Pieces leverage scale, and then maybe some mini successes; maybe you're not going to get like in the past; maybe it wouldn't be like you.
So, you got women's right to vote right away, but maybe you can get some smaller success toward the ultimate goal. And that could be something that you write down. So, I just wanted to get a little more in-depth on what I was mulling about. Thanks for listening, Hon. I went a little on my soapbox there.
Oh, it's fine.
So, I was just thinking about it. You'll remember when we were in that program, where we were mentoring new donors.
Yeah, I love that. That program was fun.
Yeah, yeah. I was mentoring this one guy, a great guy, and he came from kind of the tech/engineering world, and he wanted to have an impact on climate. And he was going about it, putting out venture capitalist RFPs for exciting new technologies to promote clean energy.
But what I talked to him about was thinking about it differently. To impact climate change, create this widget to help with energy efficiency. That's great. Who's going to adopt it? What enabling conditions to do you need to create so that the widget gets adopted? It gets adopted quickly enough to make a difference in the world, and when I started talking to him about that,
He did his business-side kick-in.
Came up to me. He's like, “your Husband…man!”
And then he's like, oh, right, we always did advertising campaigns and this and that. And we had to get the regulatory approvals. I'm like, yes, yes, you need. All that widget is not enough; you need all the stuff around that, and he was a donor who could also do some political work.
So I was like, You can talk to governors and things. He could do stuff that was so much bigger than he was thinking about. So, in that case, I was privileged enough to be able to help him define his success in a larger arena.
OK, I love these free-form conversations with you about this stuff. So, you're talking about that? I love that. Here's my pushback.
There has to be a pushback.
How do we ensure, though, like you described, that a nonprofit already does? So, what's the funder's role versus what a nonprofit, you know, will be? They'll say we're going to do communications; we're going to. Do this and that, where there's this great widget that was just created through venture capital.
So, we can do that. So just give us a grant. We'll do all those pieces. Because what you were sort of saying is, oh, we could fund Coms with that. But I wanted to parse that out, though, because sometimes, as funders, we fund Coms, Fund Communications, and fund those different pieces, and other times, there's a nonprofit already ready to come in and do that exact thing.
OK, so the part I didn't say, yeah. And I didn't say this part, but I did talk to him about specific nonprofits working in the state he's in that already have that capability.
But the key is that you see those gaps that need filling. You're looking around and saying you can write that all down. You can say, I have this widget, which will be the most amazing thing about climate change since sliced bread. Whoa. OK. To make this succeed, there needs to be communication.
And you can, with the policies in place and all these different things. And you can write all that. One as a funder, and then what you do is you go. OK, are there nonprofits doing these things already, and you go? Check, yes, over here. Over here, and you start giving grants to those. But then you go. Wait a minute. There's no nonprofit doing communications specifically to promote this widget. And this widget. All the nonprofits are telling me that it's important.
And so, everyone else is lining up again in favor of the widget, but no one has a good communications firm. So, as a funder, we can help find the communications firm, and this is all part of it, and then you have this timeline, and you say, OK, well, are we going with this measure of success? Here is the widget. It is starting to work. And make a difference on climate change, and it's the cool thing about it. It might be 20–30 years before we can fully address all the policy implications or all the implications of climate change, but it's a great, like, 2–3-year project that can show results right away, so that's measuring impact within the context of a huge, big thing. And you don't just feel like you're sort of getting disillusioned and giving grants over and over; you're thinking through the problem and the solution. So, thank you for that; I love that. OK, keep going.
Well, you described it well. So, I don't have anything to add to that. One thing we should, of course, mention is that all of this is dependent on there are resources; some foundations and donors have a fair amount of money. Some have less. Sometimes, when you have less, the best thing you can do is contribute to an effort that someone else is making.
Yeah, that's why the pooled funding is really good.
For funding or being a sustainer donor of a group. Who do you think is kicking ****? Sometimes that's you. You don't have to go and create these giant things. I just didn't want to leave that impression.
But even so, I know. But here's the thing: Right? And we've been just talking about these big, huge issues, but, like, even if you had less to give away, you could still fund it this way. Let's say you have. Let's give it away. But it's all about geography. But then, let's say you had $500 rather than 5 million dollars to give. You could make a huge difference.
Maybe your kid's school has a huge issue because the music department is going under, so you have 5. You have $500 to give, and you know all the teachers and parents in the area. And those $500 rents. Call a meeting hall that you can do a huge fundraiser at, so there are things that you can do with that. It's OK to give $500 to the PTA if you want to, but there's additional stuff you could do, even with a smaller amount.
It's just really about how you focus, how much you're focused on what you're doing. I try to do what I can, even when I work with clients. That has a lot, lot, of money. I run out of money; we run out of money fast. It's just that it's always There's always that census.
Oh, of course, yeah.
People want to make a big difference. Yeah. One other thing: This is a little bit off-topic, but one other thing that I remember I was taught when I very first started giving grants was if all of your grants are successes, and you never fail. That means you're not trying hard enough.
You're not being entrepreneurial enough. You're not taking risks. So don't be afraid of failure. Either your failure or the failure of one of your grantees, and most of the time, it's not failure; it's a setback from when I was a campaigner before I was a donor. I used to work at a nonprofit. Yeah, several different nonprofits. I would do a campaign plan every year, and I would be very detailed. It would go back and forth with people and my director, and then I'd stick it in a drawer, and I wouldn't look at it again for a year or a year later because it's all in my head anyway. Yeah, but I would look at it a year later and go. Yeah. Did that do that? Oh, that didn't work. I did this instead, and yeah.
That's so important. And as a funder, if you're giving money to a project you care about, I suggest you write that down, just like you said. You write it down for yourself based on what other people are saying. Now. Sometimes, it's the nonprofits that have it all written, all beautifully as a campaign plan. You can just track it. But I have to tell you that rarely happens, doesn't it? Sometimes it does.
But you sort of have to, as a funder, create that plan in your head so that you have it in your head. Which is, it's a sort of That's a secret that no one knows. These campaign plans don't just sort of magically happen. It's something that, as a funder, you need to decide. All the groups need a campaign plan for what you are looking at and where you're going. Don't get me wrong; you just need to decide your idea of success to have something in your back pocket that you look at every year. Am I succeeding, or are we not succeeding? That kind of thing? I think that's important. It could be a little controversial. What I. I just said there, but it was important because that wouldn't be the first time left. I know totally.
And then there is the other controversial thing I might want to leave my listeners to think about. I'd love to know what you think about this. You and I have both. I have been through a lot of high-pollutant training about measurement and impact. Where you have matrixes, you define your theory of change right up front. You have a very clear timeline; my clients often ask me for things like, OK, I want to know the exact number and how you measure it, and everything is very exact.
And many of our colleagues at larger foundations are also required to go through intense matrixing and all the different pieces there. And I guess I have decided that I didn't. I decided I didn't want to. Talk to donors this month about creating huge matrixes and spending time defining a theory of change. What I want to focus on is what you think. I guess this is my theory. Of change for you, but you think about
What's important to you? Go through my training on figuring out what you want to fund, then be clear on that, and then write it out the way we discussed. But don't get too bogged down with it. The idea that there's a silver bullet here and that if you just take a couple of training on, oh, I can just plug this in here and do this there, and the nonprofits will just magically give me an idea of their theory of change, and it's all going to work so smoothly. It doesn't work when working on a project and wanting to make a major societal change.
Can I add on?
Yeah. Please, please.
Accountability is important. It's good; it's good to get reports. It's good. Yeah. It's good to
Yes, absolutely. Don't get me wrong; I do believe that I'm tracking things pretty hard, yeah.
Find out what worked and what didn't. But at the very beginning, I think I said grant-making is both an art and a science, so the art part for me is when I sit across from a grantee and talk to them about the issue. I'm considering whether what they're saying makes sense. Does it seem plausible? Are they excited? Are they committed? Can they convince me?
If they can convince me, then chances are they can go and convince policymakers and other donors. And if they're smart, committed, and fun, people want to work with them; that's the art part. I'll tell you. If they're boring, don't make a lot of sense, and can't convince me, how will they convince policymakers?
But then and this. I get it, and you're helping me articulate this better. I don't want it to sound like I don't care about metrics because I do. But the thing is, OK, so you're looking at the person across from you. And can they convince you? Can they do it? So that also means this person can. And when it doesn't look like they're going to meet their needs, can they have the fortitude for this nonprofit leader and the nonprofit organization to pivot to figure out how to make it work, even when it's so hard? Even when it looks like it's failing in the short term, they're willing to stick with it, keep going, and try new and different innovative strategies in the future.
For me, that's success. If you look at, if you have all the most beautiful metrics in the world and you say, oh my gosh, I'm not meeting them this year. Still, you instead look at the leaders who are trying to work on the issue, and they are pivoting even though they're not meeting that thing; maybe they learn from that failure, and they're moving on to the next thing. I feel so strongly that I want to be handy with those leaders, but that is the art part. But if the leader's not there, they're not ready to go. And even if they're meeting, like in a little checkbox way, all the different things, they're not getting to the societal changes that they need, or they're not thinking creatively.
I'd much rather hedge my bets with some. And who's trying hard, failing sometimes, and moving fast? Well, fast might not be the best. The best thing is moving, working with people, collaborating, leveraging, and scaling.
And finding and finding and finding opportunities, seeing opportunities—that's the thing.
Yeah, that's so important.
You write a two-year campaign plan without knowing what will happen in six months, but you can see an opportunity. You're like, I have this plan, but this looks better over here.
Yeah, I know.
Right. OK. So, you know, it's so funny here. We did. So, this is the reason I measured the impact this month. Thank you. It is so helpful that everyone asked about it. How do we measure?
That's the kind of people you need.
Impact, and so I'm glad we have; I feel I've been helpful. Hopefully, we can talk about some things you want to think about. But the thing is, I guess my main message to you all is to take a chill pill. Be clear on what you want in the end.
Have your benchmarks, but the most important thing is if you're trying to change and make a difference in the world. You need to be nimble. You need to have faith, be very connected to what you care about, and understand that it takes time to make change. You know, that's. And even when it's hard, that doesn't mean we've failed. It means that we can pivot.
I would drop the MIC, but don't want to break it. I think you're good there, huh?
OK, that's good. So funny, though, every time I talk about this, I'm like, oh, no, I shouldn't say it this way. I need to be like, yes, here's the measurement. Here's the timeline. Here's how you do it exactly: I'm bristling against that.
I, too, believe in the theory of change. Some of our colleagues may not like that last comment.
I know everything we're saying is fairly controversial. In that sense, in the funder world, for being controversial.
We are donors, though we ask our grantees for everything, including measurables and timelines.
I know that's the thing. Yes, well.
And all of that
And here's the thing: We do need them. Yeah, don't get me wrong. Yes, we need them. We need to have benchmarks. We need to know next. Steps we take: We need them but must be flexible.
Yes, they need to create them also, so they have an idea of the plan, but again, ignore the plan if it's not working and do something else that's creative and opportunistic.
That's aimed at your goal. So, we, as donors, have to recognize that's the way things happen. You create a plan, and you try to implement it. Oh, one out of 10 times, it works as you've written it. Yeah. The rest of the time, you're pivoting.
It's the anchor, so you can decide where we want to go next and how it helps you. Deliberate about your next step. It's not the thing that you have to lock in on and then lose sight of real opportunities. Yeah, alright, well. I guess I should thank you for letting me talk about that. And I loved talking about this with you, Fred.
I needed more conversation around this issue, so now you all have seen the conversation in action. With Fred and me, these are the things we talk about a lot. I guess we're on a little geeky date night. Alright, everybody, have a great night. I love you, honey. I love you too, Hun.