You don’t need to be in crisis!


Last week, I heard board members make a classic blunder. They were worried that they couldn’t fundraise any more. Why? Because they weren’t in a crisis. They had good reserves and the finances were very well managed. So they couldn’t see why anyone would donate to the cause.

Do you know what they started talking about? Adding a new offering or program! Something to keep them “relevant.” Something outside of the mission, but only expanding the mission a little bit. Can you say, “Mission creep?”

They were the only people they were losing relevance with.

This nonprofit is wonderful. It has a compelling mission. It does amazing work, helping people who themselves are in crisis.

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It is more relevant now than ever. In fact, they’d just got done talking about how they’d need to prepare for greater demand as the people they serve got older.

But somehow, the board members missed that. They were losing purpose because they didn’t feel in crisis anymore.

And, unfortunately, they assumed that donors wouldn’t see the purpose either.

Don’t let this happen to you!

Amazingly, the board was completely missing that they were even more compelling for donations now. They don’t need a “new program” to excite donors. They just need to tell stories of impact.

In fact, just last month a recipient of this nonprofit’s work had reached out to me. He was thrilled with how helpful they’d been to him at a crucial turning point in his life. His enthusiasm and gratitude were palpable.

And he’d received the help ten years ago!

It’s about impactnot crisis

Are you getting bored with your cause? If you are, start talking with people who’ve been helped by the work. Or walk in the lands you’ve conserved. Talk to people finding out their history because of your preservation.

Don’t get addicted to crisis. A crisis addiction can feel great. But a stable nonprofit that is always able to help others is far more compelling.

Choose to grow to stability. And shift your asks from the nonprofit’s crisis. Instead, tell the stories of the impact people are making through your nonprofit.



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