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Writing Your Trilogy

Saturday, April 25, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Let’s take a vote: best trilogy ever.


IMDb asked 2,500 ordinary fans to rate their favorites from one to ten. Drumroll…

  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  2. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
  3. The Godfather (1972)
  4. Back to the Future (1985)
  5. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  6. A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
  7. Toy Story (1995) 
  8. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
  9. The Bourne Identity (2002)
  10. Mission: Impossible (1996)

You’re welcome if your movie watching woes are now solved.


What makes an epic trilogy? Many things. In my opinion, it must have a great ending. Each movie has to leave the audience yearning for more. Friends, many days I feel like I’m living out episode one of our “COVID-19 trilogy.” Let me explain.


All of us are star performers in this three-phase trilogy. Sorry, I don’t have a better name for itmaybe that’s a contest your team can put together.


I’m going to submit that we have three phases ahead of us. We are in phase one now.


1. Severe/Critical Phase:

Many suggest this is a 3-4 month phase. The goal is to stop the spread of the virus and provide immediate help to those directly affected the most. Nonprofits can access 8-10 weeks of PPP funding to minimize layoffs and maximize program support. Development professionals want to place a high focus on connection with donors, showing care and concern and continuing to raise funds. Organizations elevate efforts to communicate where needs are being met, to solve problems (especially for those impacted by the virus), and to share new challenges and opportunities with a donor community that is born out of COVID-19.


2. New Normal Phase

 This phase similarly may be anywhere from 4-6 months. People begin to embrace and walk in the “new” norms of life (and hopefully regain some old norms). Gatherings are still limited, and there are minimal to no special events. Many philanthropists, especially major donors, leverage the incentives in the CARES Act. PPP funding begins to be used up. Organizations should look into planning new campaigns to recoup revenue (e.g. appeals focused on the impact COVID has had on the organization, appeals to raise emergency resources).


3. Recovery/Recapture Phase

Phase may be 1-2 years. High-level focus on preventative action (resources may be available to minimize recurrence of virus outbreak). Markets and industry resettle and rebuild, returning back to pre-COVID levels. New businesses are generated from the pandemic. Asset growth. Millions of dollars are transferred prematurely due to deaths from COVID-19.


There is no crystal ball. Many, some, or none of these episodes of our trilogy may play out as we think. We do know this: the impact is in our daily schedules. Tomorrow’s results are most often determined by today’s behaviors. How will this trilogy score on Rotten Tomatoes? Much of that will be determined by the characters we play every day.


So which character are you going to be in this trilogy? Skywalker, Frodo, Buzz Lightyear, Jason Bourne…


Or perhaps Gandalf, whose advice to Frodo is timely for us all:


Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.


Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.


(J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings)



Meet The Author


Josh Plumley

Senior Director Development

Children At Heart Ministries

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