Tagged: Community

How Much Do You Care About Your Donors?

PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT I’m not challenging your goodness or integrity.

As a fundraiser, you work hard to support a cause that means a lot to you. You strive to connect your donors’ passions to the needs of people your organization cares for.

And you are successful by staying true and focused on your organization’s mission and vision. This is exactly what you should be doing. Good for you!

But what happens when others are finding solutions to the cause that is important to you in different ways or through other organizations?

Do you feel tempted to create a new program in order to win their support?

Do you try to convince your donor to change her mind on the type of program she supports by trying to convince her that your organization’s methods or goals are better? Or reach more people?

Or do you recognize that other organizations may be filling much-needed gaps in the bigger picture of the cause you care deeply about and choose to honour the passion of each individual making a difference in ways that are meaningful to them?

Maybe it’s not about who is better at what. Maybe it’s about each person doing their part and in doing so, achieving better results than anyone of us could have, alone.

What do you think?

The purpose of this blog 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.

Caring For Future Generations

I wonder what would happen if...

I wonder what would happen if…

Each generation, at some point, bemoans the world they have inherited from the previous generation. With their whole lives ahead of them, they vow to leave a better world for the next generation.

 Then life happens.

The drive to provide for, and protect, their immediate tribe becomes priority. They block out the injustices in the rest of the world, not entirely, but where these issues intersect their own survival – they choose to protect themselves.

This is not necessarily a bad thing.

This is how we have survived for tens of thousands of years. We’re not really wired to think about 10, 50 or 100 years from now.

But perhaps in our old age, with our lives mostly behind us, we are freed up to think about future generations.
Maybe then we are willing to plant the tree whose shade we will never personally enjoy.

I wonder what we could learn and what plans we would conceive if we listened to the idealistic dreams of the young and tempered them with the life-time wisdom of the aged.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” – Greek proverb

What can you do today to facilitate discussions about the state of the world for future generations? Who would you invite to participate?

The purpose of this blog 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.

Is Being Right Always Right?

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. — Mahatma Gandhi

untitledA global statement with personal application

In all our relationships there is one guarantee.  We will be let down and we will let someone else down in some way.

It could be a parent, a child, a spouse, a friend, a co-worker – regardless of who it is, each one will fail at some point.

Whether it’s intentional or not is irrelevant

This failure can take many forms including: betrayal, death, illness, criticism or selfishness.

The temptation to pay back the wrong can be strong

Left unchecked it can quickly build into a toxic situation

where those affected are so hurt and damaged

they’ll overreact to the smallest offence.

It becomes too hot to handle.

Maybe you can’t even remember how it started, or who started it.

Someone needs to be the first to offer their hand in peace.

Why not you?

If you must pay back why not…

pay back loyalty?

pay back generosity?

pay back encouragement?

pay back friendship?

pay back love?

Is being right really always right?

The purpose of this blog 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.

*This article was originally posted June 2012 on TALK TO DIANA

Collective Impact

IHeartHomeMy good friend Louise Gallagher recently invited me to attend the Community Summit on ending homelessness in Calgary, Alberta and I am so happy that I took her up on it!

WHY?

Because any time an organization can draw 450 people from 150 organizations together to work on addressing a common goal, the Community Builder in me is beside herself with joy!

The Community Summit was organized by the good folks at the Calgary Homeless Foundation, along with leaders in the homelessness sector, to introduce Calgary’s updated 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.

The key piece that stands out to me is how this goal will be achieved.

Beyond collaboration, the success of the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness is dependent on Collective Impact and involves everyone in the community; including service providers, government, the private sector, academia, media, faith community, those who have lived experience, or are members of the public.

And that’s just amazing to me!

There are five conditions that need to be met for Collective Impact:

  • Common Agenda
  • Shared measurement
  • Mutually reinforcing activities
  • Continuous Communication
  • Backbone support

To read more about the summit and get more information on Calgary’s updated 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness, click here.

Does your organization work with multiple partners to achieve its goals? What are the benefits of working with multiple partners? What are your thoughts on collective impact?

The purpose of this blog 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.

What Are You Doing To Build Community?

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I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Mother Teresa

What is community?

Quite simply, community is a group of people who live, work and/or play together.

Communities consist of neighbourhoods, work teams, families and clubs, etc.

Healthy community is:

  • A safe place where each member can respectfully be uniquely themselves;
  • where disagreements are OK because each person is loved;
  • where each individual is recognized for the gifts they bring to the table;
  • where others need us and we can count on them when we’re in need;
  • a deep understanding, based on experience, that together we can weather any storm.

I want to be more intentional about building community.

I want my family, my team to know I’ve got their backs. I want to know they’ve got mine. I want to really listen without judgment. I want to build people up, not tear them down. I want to be part of something bigger than myself.

Let’s face it. We need each other.

Is community important to you? What are you doing to build it where you live and work?

The purpose of this blog 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.

Are You Building Community?

family

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Mother Teresa

What is community?

Quite simply, community is a group of people who live, work and/or play together.

Communities consist of neighbourhoods, work teams, families and clubs, etc.

Healthy community is:

A safe place where each member can respectfully be uniquely themselves;

where disagreements are OK because each person is loved;

where each individual is recognized for the gifts they bring to the table;

where others need us and we can count on them when we’re in need;

a deep understanding, based on experience, that together we can weather any storm.

I want to be more intentional about building community.
I want my family, my team to know I’ve got their backs.
I want to know they’ve got mine.
I want to really listen without judgment.
I want to build people up, not tear them down.
I want to be part of something bigger than myself.

What about you?
Is community important to you?
What are you doing to build it where you live?

The purpose of this blog 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.

How To Start a Movement

 The first follower transforms the lone nut into a leader. ~ Derek Sivers

I’ve seen this Ted Talk before. When it came across my Facebook again recently, I was reminded of that old adage that goes something like: If you can’t explain something simply, perhaps you don’t know the subject that well… 

How to Start a Movement (Recap)

  1. One lone nut courageously steps forward.
  2. The first follower transforms the lone nut into a leader.
  3. The leader embraces the follower as an equal.
  4. Another follower makes it three. Three is a crowd and that’s news! (Now it’s public)
  5. More followers come. They emulate the first follower, not the leader.
  6. The fence-sitters come, this is the tipping point, now we have a movement.
  7. As more people join in, it becomes less risky for others to join in.

I sometimes wonder why we over-complicate this type of passion. When we take something so beautiful in its simplicity and make it complex, doesn’t it lose its power?

Tell me, are you living your passions? When you believe in something, do you pursue it to the point of risking ridicule? When you find a lone nut doing something great, do you have the courage to be the first to follow?

The purpose of this blog 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.

If You Don’t Care, Nobody Gives A Flying Flip What you Know

Love Quotes2- englishsmsquotes_blogspot_com

So even if you know everything in your area of expertise. (You don’t)

Even if you have a Ph.D.  (Big whoop!)

And even if by some magic wand you suddenly know all; if you don’t care about people, it’s worthless.

And what exactly does it mean to care?

To care means that you want the very best for others; your family, your co-workers, your donors, your clients, your volunteers, the cashier at the grocery store, the guy who delivers your pizza…

 People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. – Mark Twain

What are some ways that you can show you care today?

The purpose of this blog 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.

 

A Recipe for Success

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Engaging your community and building donor relationships starts with your dedication and commitment to do so. The following recipe is a potent combination of ingredients and seasonings that appeals to a variety of tastes.

Ingredients

  • A heaping understanding of who you are
  • Passion
  • Vision
  • Integrity
  • Good Character
  • Transparency
  • Humility
  • Curiosity
  • Ability to Listen
  • Open-mindedness
  • Gratitude
  • Accountability
  • Regular Contact

In a large bowl combine a heaping understanding of who you are, Passion, Vision. Integrity, Good Character and Transparency. Fold in a blend of Humility, Curiosity, Ability to Listen and Open-Mindedness.

Simmer ingredients together letting the flavours intermingle. Hint: For optimum results, don’t rush this process. It becomes more delectable with time and occasional stirring.

Finally, sprinkle with a generous amount of Gratitude, Accountability, and Regular Contact.

What’s your favourite recipe?

The purpose of this blog 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.

Husbands and Wives and Other Relationships

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Sue has known forever that family is important to her. She wants kids, four to be exact, two girls and two boys if possible. One day Sue will marry a man who loves family.

John is the second of five children. He looks forward to Thanksgiving and other holidays just so he can connect and get grounded with his family.  When he’s ready for marriage, he will find a woman who shares his values.

As fate would have it, Sue and John meet at an outdoor concert and click. Their relationship blossoms and they discover with delight how much they have in common. Within a year they’re married. The first of their children, a daughter, is born just after their second anniversary.

John and Sue each contribute to their family in their own way and live out their roles faithfully. Soon they slip into a comfortable routine, each honouring their commitment to make it work, each grateful and showing their appreciation for the other.

Time goes by and one day they realize they’re not happy anymore. Somewhere along the way, they began to take each other for granted and bit by bit they let their commitments slip to the point where the ‘D word’ entered the conversation. If only they had seen what was happening before they got to this point. If only they had been more intentional about honouring their commitment, appreciating their partner and being grateful for what they have.

Maybe there is still hope for Sue and John. The question is, are they willing to do what it takes to save their relationship?

~

The relationships that non-profit organizations have with their donors and volunteers are not so different. Your donors and volunteers came to you already knowing what they were passionate about. They saw how your values matched with theirs. Getting involved with you made sense, you might even say it clicked.

You both entered into an agreement. They committed to supporting you with their time, talent or money and you promised to fulfil your end of the commitment by remaining accountable to them. They told everybody they knew about your work and the wonderful things you do, and inspired others to come on board. You shared about their commitment every chance you could and made sure that you always let them know how grateful you were for them.

Maybe somewhere down the line you got lazy, or too busy, or distracted by other things and began to let your end of the bargain slip. You took them for granted and just assumed they would always be there. One day you noticed that they did not honour their usual commitment. Maybe it even caught you off guard and you wondered how it could have happened. Why didn’t you see it coming?

Maybe there is still hope.  The question is are you willing to lay the ground work to ensure it never happens again and to re-establish the trust in your relationship with them?

How do you make sure that you are continuously honouring your commitment to those who are supporting you?

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.