Two things can change everything about your organization. Those two things can change the world for good.
I'm Dave Sena from Bold Leading, and in today's episode of 10 Ways to Be a Bold Organization, we are discussing "The two things that can change everything".
I remember Jim Holdman, my mentor, drilling into my head repeatedly, "What you say to donors matters." How you approach them matters. What you tell them will affect how they feel about your organization. Make them feel like they are on an adventure to change the world. They get to vanquish enemies and be the hero.
Or you can make them can feel like an ATM. They can feel manipulated, used, and taken for granted. I have heard CEOs of nonprofits say things like, "They should give to our project. It is their responsibility."
I remember sitting in a conference room over 15 years ago. Hundreds of nonprofit leaders were yelling at a spokesperson for a granting agency. "Why are you cutting our funding? It is your duty to help!"
Something about that felt weird to me. There was lots of passion and anger in the room. I felt uneasy and needed to think it through. As I left the place to go to the next meeting, it hit me. Do I have enough passion to ask individual donors to be part of my organization's journey and adventure? Would I be willing to ask people to give? Not demand but ask.
Jim, my mentor, always taught me to think of donors like kindly grandparents who want to help but do not want to change diapers. Donors want to see the pictures, help, and know others are helping as well.
If I told a donor, "You have to help us meet our goal of xx amount of money or else." That is one story.
A better story might be, "You can have the opportunity to help us meet and surpass our goal. We are committed to raising money and finding a way to change the world. We would love for you to be a part of this grand adventure. Either way, we are going to change the world."
Some may give under pressure, but they may give less or less often.
Two things that will change everything
Believe and commit. Without those two things, you will stop. Others will stop.
The change you desire.
The good you long for.
The people you want to help.
The brighter future.
The mountain climbed.
The sea crossed.
All will not happen without you believing and committing.
When I talked to Jim, he would say no donor wants to be your only hope. They don't want to feel the pressure of being the reason you don't change the world. They do want you to succeed, and they want to see you change the world for good.
If donors know you are going anyway. If they know you are inviting everyone. If they know they can come for the ride and even fuel the car but don't have to do it for the whole trip. They will come.
Your organization will succeed or fail based on what you believe about its future. What will you do because of your commitment? You will be humble because you know others are smarter and have more resources. Your asset is your belief and commitment. It is your secret weapon.
I added that last one, but it is true. So many times, the first reaction people have is to say the task at hand is impossible. But if we had to do it anyway, what would we do or how would we start?
Have you seen the movie "The Martian" with Matt Damon? As a man abandoned on planet Mars, he says it best:
"At some point, everything's gonna go south on you, and you're going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That's all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem, and you solve the next one, and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home."
Thank you for tuning into our series "Ten ways for or an organization to be Bold."
Today we shared with you "The two things that can change everything." But we know things can get complicated and confusing. If you are unsure how to move forward or feel stuck, schedule a free "No Shame Strategy Call." We are here to help you state committed and confident about your future.
When you need a trusted friend to help you face the future without fear or panic, Bold Leading is here for you. Visit us at boldleading.com today.