Tagged: Vision and Mission

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.

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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.

Just Cut That Wood Already

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Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.” – Samuel Johnson

We’ve all heard that saying, “Measure twice, cut once.” It’s good advice meant to make sure you get what you envisioned.

When used as it is meant to be understood, it is good. When used as an excuse not to proceed, it is self-defeating.

In the context of an organization, it is good and advisable to have policies.

Policies equip and empower an organization to fulfill its mission.

The problem comes when policies are used to hide behind; preventing us from actually doing the work that we’re mandated to do.

Yes, do measure twice, but then cut already!

I mean, why start something if you’re not willing to take some risks?

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.

Making A Difference Where It Matters To You

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Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you ~ Oprah Winfrey

Fundraising is FUN!

You get to meet and be inspired by so many wonderful people who want to make this world a better place. You get to match great need with needed resources.

You get to be part of something that is transformational.

You get to build community.

So make sure you’re aligned with an organization that answers a need you’re passionate about. One that mirrors your vision and values.

Making a difference where it matters to you, is just as important to a fundraiser as it is to a donor.

Are you making a difference where it matters to you?

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.

 

The Journey Vs. The Destination

“We do not really feel grateful toward those who make our dreams come true; they ruin our dreams.” Eric Hoffer

lab-rat-460x307I read a study once regarding scientists who were experimenting with two groups of rats.

They fed one group as much food as they could eat. They fed the other group just enough so that they were always a bit hungry.

The first group became lazy and lethargic and suffered a whole onslaught of diseases associated with poor health choices.

The second group had more energy, were more productive and lived longer.

Maybe there’s something to always being a bit hungry…

in our careers

in our relationships

in our dreams.

It’s good to have a dream,

a destination

a vision

goals

ambitions.

But maybe it’s more about the journey

The process of getting there

the striving

the passion

the fighting for.

When I get what I want, I’m happy.

But then inevitably

I begin to miss the dreaming,

the anticipating

the striving to get there.

What do you think? Which is better, the journey or the destination?

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.

Mission Drift – Wishy Washy Doesn’t Wash With Folks

 A LESSON FROM RECENT EVENTS WITH APPLICATION for your non-profit organization

imagesI18CTDYQOn March 28th, PC candidate and ex-Wildrose leader, Danielle Smith lost her bid to represent the Highwood riding in Alberta in the general election to newcomer Carrie Fischer.

Let me back up here to give you some background information that led up to these events.

By mid 2014, Smith, as leader of the Wildrose had successfully brought the party to a place where they’d won the hearts, imaginations and support of rural Albertans.

The party had become an effective opposition, shaking up the PCs who have held power in Alberta for more than four decades.

In the fall of 2014, the Wildrose party hit a few speed bumps when several party members crossed the floor to join the PCs. Smith was outraged and even ended a long-term friendship over the issue; telling the defector that she’d have her constituents to answer to.

Shortly afterward, in a plot twist worthy of a Stephen King novel, that left the mouths of many people gaping across the province – regardless of their political affiliation – Smith herself, crossed the floor, urging remaining Wildrose members to do the same.

So on the 28th, the residents of Highwood made their voices heard and expressed them loud and clear by rejecting Smith.

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A lesson with applications for the non-profit sector

This is what happens when who you are, and what you stand for, is discarded. In other words when mission drift occurs. And the same thing can happen to your organization if you don’t remain true to who you are.

When you take your eyes off the prize, when you go along with popular opinion, when you compromise who you are to chase money and garner support, your foundation begins to crumble. It becomes increasingly difficult to engage your community in meaningful ways. Your closest relationships and your best fundraising practices cannot save you when you stray from your mission. Wishy-washy doesn’t wash with folks.

If you don’t stand firm for something, you will fall for anything. And it will be those whom you serve that will suffer the most.

What do you stand for? How do you ensure you’re staying true to your mission?

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.

Take Care of Your People

“Life is meant to be shared. We need each other.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita    images044OR7Q2

YOUR ORGANIZATION IS MADE UP OF living, breathing people.

  • Your Staff
  • Your Volunteers
  • Your Donors
  • Your Clients
  • Your Community

Building relationships and making the best use of the time, talents and treasures of your people, who are united in fulfilling your mission, is well worth your time.

This is based on the premise that although being fiscally viable is important, engaging with, and recognizing the valuable contributions of your people is equally important.

In fact, the latter is crucial to the success of the former.

Your vision and brilliant strategies aren’t worth the paper they’re documented on, without the people who have committed themselves to your important mission with you.

Take care of  your people or they may stop taking care of you.

Make a list of the stakeholder groups who are important to your organization. When is the last time you engaged with them? What are your strategies to ensure you’re staying connected with, and keeping each group engaged moving forward?

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.