I have used the phrase, “We’re building the plane while we fly it,” as part of my mantra. Initially, I thought it was a professionally acceptable way to say, “We have no idea. We’re making it up as we go and we will get there with a solid outcome,” but most recently I realized what it means, and I discovered why it is a good line of thinking in the current landscape for nonprofit leaders.
The increasing trend toward globalization in the past 30 years has changed the way American interests do business. As America’s preeminent companies find themselves competing for markets and influence outside the United States, the targets of their philanthropic efforts have also shifted.
Audiences are changing, donors are evolving, and patrons of all backgrounds are participating. The biggest question is: Are these diverse voices represented at the table within our organizations?