Getting Around The Next Corner

pikes-peak-highway-0152When Dad taught me to drive on curvy roads, the one piece of advice that I remember as clear as if it was yesterday is, “Always keep your eyes on the furthest point  you can see in the distance.”

Before then, curves in the road made me nervous and when I took them, it was a series of jerky movements. I was afraid I would hit oncoming traffic or end up in a ditch. My natural inclination was to focus my attention right where I was.

When I did as Dad advised, my jerky movements became a smooth ride around the curve and I ended up right where I meant to be. Bit by bit as my confidence grew in my abilities, I was able to go further and further, taking one corner at a time toward my final destination.


I’m currently working with an amazing organization that provides a ‘next step’ for women who are transitioning from the streets. Their passion for this work is inspiring and contagious and they have garnered an impressive amount of support considering the newness of their programs and the relatively small size of their organization.

They’re ready to take the next corner. They want to engage their supporting community in a more intentional way while raising more funds to support their important work. They have a fair-sized base of supporters who want to help, but they are not sure how to present them with a clear call to action.  Also they have recently expanded and will need more donations and volunteers than they required last year.

We’ve agreed on a 3-step process that will:

  1. Help them get a good understanding of their current status by reviewing their giving history; through segmentation, trends, what’s worked well, what hasn’t worked well and discovering who their donors and volunteers are; what their areas of interests are, why they give financially, of their time and expertise, etc.
  2. Lead discussions based on what we’ve learned, to talk about where they need to go, brainstorm how to build on existing appeals and discuss new opportunities and ideas to increase the level of their community’s engagement in the next 12 months.
  3. Result in a 1-year community engagement and fundraising plan with timelines, areas of accountability and targets; a plan they can feel excited and empowered to implement.

If you only look at where you are, you will end up no further ahead than when you started. It is important to know what your organization’s final destination is; your vision for an engaged community – what it will look like when you finally arrive. Look at ‘the furthest point you can see’ and curve by curve work your way toward the final destination.

How do you prepare for the future?

What successful strategies have you employed to get around the next corner?

The purpose of The Other Bottom Line is to facilitate discussions that will help us all to better engage with our communities. Your participation and feedback are most welcomed and valued. Please join the discussion below.



  1. Kerwyn Hodge

    Hmmm…that last comment was posted before I finished it! As I said, I really enjoyed this and it’s related post, Diana. Every organization, whether encompassing an army of workers or just an army of one, must look at where it hopes to be. The only way to reach a goal is to have it clearly in mind. That way you can make adjustments to keep you on track. It also helps ease decision-making, since every choice either brings you closer to your goal or moves you further away from it.

    Your organization has a concrete plan for improvement, and I can’t wait to see how things turn out! We should definitely get together and discuss ways to help each other. 🙂

      • Kerwyn Hodge

        You’re up in Calgary, eh? I haven’t been there in a while, and that’s an absolute shame! it’s a beautiful city – and the home to the Stampede (something I’ve wanted to experience). If I’m ever up there again, chances are I’ll be part of a group, so I’ll let you know and you can hang out with us! 🙂

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