Global Versus Local Goals
Have a fundraising challenge you want to crack? Weary of doing the same old, same old yet hoping for different outcomes? Do you want the over-the-top results that come from superior strategy?
Email me with your particular problem and I’ll arrange a quick consultation offering you a practical solution you can implement. I may even use your situation to share with my readers. Names are changed, of course!
Those who toil in the nonprofit sector are some of the most sincerely motivated, hardworking folks I know. They are really committed to what they do and what they want to accomplish.
That very passion can blind them, however. They can begin to believe their own press releases.
I’m currently coaching in a situation, which is this scenario in spades.
Let’s say there’s an organization that is doing good work. They want to do good work. People in the communities they serve know they want to do good work. And there has been a degree of success.
Each community believes in this organization for a different reason. True, each of these beliefs fit within a larger umbrella—a general cause. Nevertheless, it’s the specific, on-the-ground rationale that energizes support from each of the affected communities and constituencies.
The difficulty arises when those driving the cause continue to proclaim the global goals without reference to the local goals. Hmmm.
Avoiding this mistake is akin to remembering that “hunger” is really about individual persons who aren’t getting enough to eat. “Ending hunger”—what does that mean?
If someone espousing a worthy passion cannot—or will not—make it individual to the receiver, they are very likely to be disappointed in the response.
Principle No. 2 of The Eight Principles™ is Begin at the Beginning™. The first step in any effort to secure philanthropic support is to develop your message in a way that appeals to those who share your vision. That means getting inside their heads a bit and taking into account what you find there. Seriously.
Unfortunately, the reaction can be a knee-jerk one. “But you just don’t care.” What a totally tactless, judgmental response—not to mention a false one in almost every case.
It was Sir Thomas Browne who first made the observation—more than 400 years ago—that every person is his or her own worst enemy.
Some things never change. We’d all like to believe we’re different. Even me!
I coach my clients—and continually remind myself—don’t fall victim to thinking it’s all about us.
Because it isn’t. No matter how noble our mission.
I’m very hopeful that the organization I’m coaching will take my counsel. They’ve got good leadership and they know the tremendous, positive—sometimes lifesaving—impact their work can have in the lives of others.
They can do a lot of good. And there’s so much to do!
Let me hear from you. Please share your situation and the challenges you face in developing sustainable revenue streams. Email me and I’ll arrange a brief consult providing you with practical guidance. I’ll choose some of these thorny obstacles to share, along with my insights, in upcoming columns.
Success is waiting. Go out and achieve it.
Larry believes in the power of relationships and the power of philanthropy to create a better place and transform lives.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles. His mission is to give nonprofits and philanthropists alike the opportunity to achieve their shared visions. With more than 25 years of experience in charitable fundraising and philanthropy, Larry knows that financial sustainability and scalability is possible for any nonprofit organization or charitable cause and is dependent on neither size nor resources but instead with the commitment to create a shared vision.
Larry is the author of the award-wining book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising." He is the Association of Fundraising Professionals' 2010 Outstanding Development Executive and has ranked in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the United States by the Wall Street Business Network.
Larry is the creator of the revolutionary online fundraising training platform, The Oracle League.
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