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“You, Call 911--Now!”

I’ve heard it said that at one time or another in a given person’s life, he or she will be faced with a life or death situation. When that moment comes, it’s that person’s action or inaction that will be a key determining factor in the survival or demise of the individual in distress.

For example, it’s Sunday morning and you’re in church. Things are quiet until you suddenly here a commotion. You go to where the crowd has gathered and see that a man has passed out and that people are wondering what they should do.

If you’ve had CPR training, you know that one of the first things to do is to pick one person out of the crowd, point at him or her and loudly say,

“You! Please call 9-1-1 Now!” Not “Somebody call 9-1-1.” “You call 911 and do it now!”

When you do this, you put the pressure or responsibility on the shoulders of a specific person. Why? If you don’t, it’s possible (in fact, research shows it’s likely) that every one of the bystanders will think, “Someone else will do it”-and very often in that situation, nobody makes the potential life-saving call.

Fundraising demands the same sense of aggressive urgency. If it’s not there, when it’s the equivalent of somebody instead of you, mediocre results are usually achieved. In effect, everyone thinks someone else will give and they don’t have to.

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