The past year has been nothing short of extraordinary and has called all to a new way of being. Strangely, for some nonprofits this has meant closing doors indefinitely and for others huge growth in mission work and donor support. Truly, no one could foresee this time, I believe mostly, because we don’t consider that even if all is well and moving along, we can be blindsided easily and indiscriminately. What then is our responsibility in moving forward?
I would respond in part that boards, nonprofit leaders and donors all need to ask more questions more often. How would you respond to “this”? How deep is your expertise in “that”? How quickly can you shift service delivery? If your income dried up how many months could you survive? What scenario are you planning for today that could happen in the future? Is your mission still relevant? What is the “and” that you keep ignoring? These are just a few questions, but they get to the truth that we can never be complacent because all things change whether we want them to or not. And we can’t be so caught up in the day to day that we ignore planning and thinking about a future that is different.
For nonprofits who are working towards the future they must undertake planning well. They must gather all the solid information and best trend analysis they can to look at scenarios that could happen and see how well they can adapt and meet the needs of those they serve. And they need to pull their donors in closer to learn from them more than ever about why they give and what does their giving provide them.
Yes, the struggle of day to day is a lot and it always has been. What’s really the issue is the capacity needed to change to what is needed today. And, everyone is feeling this … mostly we feel it during the 10th virtual call of the day when we still are searching for the unmute button like we never knew it existed before that moment you are trying to find it… Change is hard, planning is hard, but ignoring the critical need for both can be catastrophic.
I’m here if you need some assistance in moving forward to a new way of being that feels right and good. I promise you will get there.