Leaders: Realize, Don’t Rationalize
Most nonprofits that are truly mission-focused have incredible potential. From institutions of higher education and independent schools to health care, social services and beyond, there is incredible potential.
Whenever we present a plan or report, it is based on research. Giving-history and other data, communications, resources, and insight from the right leaders and constituencies form the analysis of where they are.
More often than not, our recommendations are embraced with enthusiasm. The leaders understand the process and the outcomes. Even if it is not what they had expected, they can see a path—based on best practices, research and analysis—to achieving their goals. These are leaders who plan to realize their potential—to seize the day!
In a few instances, there are leaders who immediately question a process that they have been a part of and the resulting recommendations. They rationalize, sharing “well, if we had only spoken with,” or “if only ...” when their inputs impacted the results. This always pains me because, in most cases, these leaders will not fulfill their potential. They are too busy rationalizing why the process or plan didn’t include the outcome they had hoped for—even though another path is needed to get them there.
You can’t change reality. You can’t change your circumstances. You can change the future by following a solid plan and providing leadership. Don’t rationalize—it won’t lead to increased fundraising success and mission impact. Realize your potential. Take the right steps today!
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.