There is a lot of change happening for nonprofits...
... how to effectively fundraise in this technologically driven age... how to expand platforms via social media to gain the right support... all that tax reform stuff... and the fact that many for-profits are taking a page out of our non-profit book and are launching their own cause driven initiatives.
One could feel overwhelmed by all this change.
There are 2 things that will never change for nonprofits. So, breathe... and then pay close attention because this is important.
There has never ever been a nonprofit organization in all of the world's existence that has succeeded... let alone survived... without a whole heck of passion fueling the operation.
My favorite definition of passion is an, "intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction." An intense, driving , overmastering feeling or conviction is exactly what is needed for the nonprofit life. You have to care. You have to care a WHOLE lot. You have to care so much that people think you're crazy for caring that much.
Passion is what propels us to persist when it gets hard... when things are constantly changing and it feels impossible to keep up with the times. Passion is what shapes our perspective for a positive outlook - it colors the lens of our vision with a "this IS worth it" kind of shade. Passion is what pulls people together to accomplish something so much greater than what we could ever do on our own. You feel me?
In order to do good... the kind of good that brings real change... you have to have passion. This will never change.
There is no way of getting around it. Nonprofit organizations need people to accomplish the good work. Nonprofits need people more than... dare I say... money (I just heard you gasp).
It takes people with passion (see point #1) to tell the stories ... to spread the word... to roll up their sleeves and lend a helping hand. Technology is great and is one the best things that is happening for nonprofits today but all the awesome technology in the world could never replace the the heart of human who says, "I want to help."
It takes people to change the world. It's that simple.
So, what does this mean?
There are a lot of things that will help you grow your influence, but if you don't have passion and people behind the mission, you are in the danger zone. You are at risk. Forget the social media strategy for a hot second. Forget the fundraising campaigns and the agenda for the next board meeting. Pretend that I am sitting across from you right now and while we are drinking our flat whites, I ask you:
Do you have passion? Do you still give a flip about this mission?
Do you have the people... the right people to carry out this good work?
If you answered yes to both these questions, I want you to know that you are in best place you could be. Yes, things are changing but you will be fine.
If you answered no to either or both of those questions, don't panic. It's never too late to start caring again. It's never too late to swing wide open your doors and call out for the help you need. There are a lot of good people out there looking for a place to lend a helping hand.
I am rooting for you too. Stay passionate. Love your people.
All the best,