How Nonprofits Need to Use Connectedness For Survival
Posted by Allison Fine on October 22, 2008
I was in Los Angeles yesterday visiting with the Southern California Grantmakers. They shared with me that there are whole blocks in LA with foreclosures signed up and down. It’s gonna be ugly for a while, I fear.
To that end, I posted a column on Opportunity Knocks yesterday on the critical importance of nonprofits focusing on their connectedness with their constituents to survive — and maybe even thrive — in this bleak economy. Feel free to read the entire post, and here are the highlights:
- Focus on What You Do Best. It is critically important for nonprofits to go back to basics and ask yourself what you are fundamentally in the business of accomplishing – and get rid of the rest.
- Rethink success. Did we add more revenue/staff/programs this year? That’s the question that boards ask year after year, as if the only way to serve communities better, or have a greater impact, is to do more of the same – at the cost of doing whatever you do really well. We need to rethink this, and educate board members about the difference between impact and growth.
- Live Within Your Ecosystem. When each organization is focused on what it does best, not becoming sprawling growth machines themselves, then they can connect with like-minded, collaborative partner organizations to serve their communities and constituents better.
- Nurture Your Networks. Connect with your constituents in real, meaningful ways. Too often, communications between organizations and constituents has devolved into a one-way ask for money. We’re not really interested in you, most organizations are saying, unless and until you write us a check. People have lots to offer organizations in terms of what they know and who they know. This is the giving up control part – and if your organization isn’t ready to give it up, don’t bother asking people for advice.
- Trust yourself. In trying times it’s important to remember why you do the work that you do – to make our corner of the world a better place. We need to reject the Phyrric belief that success will come from being closed, competitive, opaque and hard of hearing. If it ever worked, it certainly won’t now. The elixir is to be your best self; open, transparent, connected and courageous.
This entry was posted on October 22, 2008 at 9:24 pm and is filed under Social Media. Tagged: Nonprofits, Opportunity Knocks. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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