Organizational Growth: Taking Your Nonprofit to the Next Level
Any nonprofit I've worked with that made that transition — that revolutionary leap in size — had one or two people really pushing forward the vision to do so. In some cases that person was the founder and in others a CEO, head of program or of development. It almost doesn't matter as long as that person has a skill set, ability to pull together the correct resources, and that spark or spirit to keep pushing forward. And for every organization lucky enough to have a visionary, it's imperative to have …
This is the person who helps the visionary stay on point, focused and building with the members of the organization who are most productive. The easiest way to detract an organization from a goal is to have a few personalities who just seem hell-bent on not succeeding — or at a loss as to how to even try! You know exactly who I mean! First there is the …
● "That's never going to happen around here … You never will get the board to agree to …" person. Hearing that 10 times a day could drive even Gandhi to give up and grab a nosh at Cracker Barrel! There's nothing wrong with a member of the team providing a little reality check. The problem with visionaries, after all, is that they sometimes get — well — visionary.
But a blocker can be an effective tool in weeding out what's just negative and what's really a risk. I could get all arm-chair Freud here and talk about the overriding personality traits of the naysayer, but I'll move on lest somebody decides to Freud me! But, the reality is these people are usually the most dangerous to seeing vision in the success. They slowly eat away at the excitement and passion until little is left. A blocker in a relationship like this is very important.
So, I'm a fundraiser having a mid-life crisis. And that's perfectly fine with me.
I am taking time to look around, lift my head and find REAL people who really want to change the world. And people smart enough to do it. Join me in this fun journey. I have no idea where we will end up - and that is the beauty of it. I'm nonprofit passionate, a hopeful world changer, and always ready to share what I know, learn what I don't, admit when I can't, and ask the hard questions.
While you're looking around for other areas of inspiration, check out The Moth Project at themoth.org (the podcasts are AMAZING), TED talks (doesn't matter which ones - find topics that interest you) and Volunteer Voices (again - love the podcast) written by volunteers from the Peace Corps. Don't see the immediate connection to being a better fundraiser? Just listen, you'll hear the message ...