About Pauline Hechler

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So far Pauline Hechler has created 17 entries.

Arizona Theatre Company 2016-2017 Season Video

Got It Use It! All Aquatic Triathlon


5 MORE Mistakes I Made That You Can Avoid – From 28 Years in the Nonprofit Sector

March 8, 2016

Well, some of you were right: I could think of five more!

1. Confronting someone who does not consider you their equal — Eons ago, after beginning a position which had been highly sought by others with more experience, I realized there were disgruntled people involved in the effort who had worked to get it started with the hope of running it. They didn’t understand why I (a young woman from outside the program area) had been hired for the position instead of them. One even accused me of having “an Italian temper,” whatever that is.

I tactfully confronted the person, but that only made things worse, as nothing was going to change his mind until I lost the job and it was given to him. So, I went to a man who had been running a hospital foundation for years, and asked his advice. He said, “Pauline, always put a volunteer between you and the problem.”

I went back to the chair and asked him if he would be kind enough to address our disgruntled steering committee member in whatever way he felt was appropriate. He called the man and told him gently, but firmly, that I was the chosen director and that if he did not want to be involved in the effort, that certainly was his choice, but if he continued to complain, he would be asked to leave the steering committee. Enough said.

2. Failing to heed a warning — I called someone I respect, and asked for her guidance in considering a woman for my team whom she had supervised. My colleague was kind enough to warn me that the person had been a “big problem.”


5 Mistakes I Made That You Can Avoid – From 28 Years in the Nonprofit Sector

January 29, 2016

Thinking back over my career in fundraising, I am filled with gratitude. There are so many good people, projects and causes to remember. We’re working to improve the world. What could be better than that?

But in addition to the successes, I’ve made some stupid mistakes. I’m going to share my “top five” with you here, in the hope that they will save you some heartache. I’ll start with the one that causes me the least concern and move up to the one that gives me the most remorse:

  1. Being too physical – I’m a hugger; that’s how I grew up. But I have learned over time that not everyone appreciates a hug. In fact, some people really hate it. Take your time and let the other person initiate a hug. Refrain from touching people, unless you know them well. Not everyone is like you.
  2. Asking questions – My husband has taught me that for some people a question I consider a sign of interest is intimidating or nosy to them. To show your interest, ask questions for which there is no “right” answer, questions that are not too personal. Or simply refrain from a question and make an innocuous statement to get things rolling. If you pepper someone with questions, they may feel exhausted by it, and if they process slowly, and some very smart people do, they won’t like being put on the spot to say something interesting or witty. Back off and let the conversation happen. There is an exception, and that’s when you are following up on a past conversation, e.g., an upcoming surgery, a sick pet, a vacation about to be taken, etc. Those questions show you care and you should absolutely ask them.

<a href=”https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/mistakes-i-made-you-can-avoid-from-28-years-nonprofit-hechler?trk=prof-post” target=”_blank”>READ MORE ON LINKEDIN</a>

Why Is Fund Development a Swinging Door?


I got a call today from a stellar development person who has decided to leave her job.  She’s just not feeling the love.  A few hours later, I heard from another colleague who’s looking, too.  He’s had three CEOs in the two years he’s been at the organization. He can’t gain any traction. A third person I talked to (yes, today) is reciting the old “duck and cover” mantra. She sticks to her part and let’s the rest go. But is she having any fun?  I don’t think so.

I wish I could say these calls were unusual, but I get them regularly. Development officers appear to be the popular scapegoat when all is not well. One colleague pointed out that she is the only member of the leadership team whose goals are front and center; she feels like a target.

Board members say the right things:  “We understand major gifts take time; a donor base doesn’t happen overnight; we are here to help.”  But however well-intentioned these statements are, they are quickly forgotten when the budget is askew. The person most capable of getting things back on track is blamed for the problem.

The bigger problem  is an unwilling board.  A staff-driven development effort can work, if your staff is big enough.  But most organizations [READ MORE ON LINKEDIN]

Why Is Keeping the Pipeline Full So Difficult?


I belong to an international group of consultants who “meet” on Facebook. Today’s conversation turned on the reality for most consultants that it is hard to keep a steady rhythm with the work.  Instead of the same paycheck every two weeks, ours are uneven and sometimes non-existent.

We should be marketing when we’re busy, but we’re busy. And besides, it’s about the graphic below from Kivi Leroux Miller. It explains so well some of the elements of consulting that make the “sell” complicated. [READ MORE ON LINKEDIN]

Why Don’t I Have a Business Plan?


I ran into a colleague recently who said, “Pauline, I think I need you.  I want to switch directions in my work, and I don’t even have a business plan.” “Well guess what,” I answered, “neither do I.”

The truth is, I’d rather be doing than planning, especially when it comes to executing on a business plan. And it turns out, I’m in good company. For several years now, serial entrepreneur Steve Blank has been teaching Lean LaunchPad, a “get out there and do it” approach to business. Blank teaches the course at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of BusinessColumbia Business School, and Stanford’s engineering school.

Francesca De Meglio writes in BloombergBusiness on April 25, 2013, “Steve Blank pities those poor professors stuck teaching tired business plan courses. ‘Business plan classes and business plan competitions are dead in the water for new ventures,’ says Blank, who authored the cover story in the May 2013 issue ofHarvard Business Review on the value of experimentation in building a new business. The premise of Blank’s course is that aspiring entrepreneurs need to know their customer and must test their hypotheses to have any chance at success.”

So for three years, I’ve been operating from the proposition that a) if a prospective client comes to me, and b) I believe in what they’re doing, and c) if I can provide what my client needs, i.e. there’s a fit, then I will bid the job.

Now, this is not to say I’m not a planner or I don’t believe in planning.  I do a lot … [ READ MORE ON LINKEDIN]

Tohono Chul – Sundays in the Garden

Sundays in the Garden Concerts

Each Sunday, October & November 2015 | 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Performance Garden

Featuring musical performances by Tucson Guitar Society |
No-Host Bar | Nibbles in the gardens | Specials at the Garden Bistro | Free with cost of Admission!


Changemaker HS student encourages girls to love themselves with new program


Changemaker HS student encourages girls to love themselves with new program


Why Is Fund Development a Swinging Door?

[Read this article by Pauline on LinkedIn…]