Fundraising in Difficult Times, Part 3
You have permission to change. No excuses needed. Change will soon serve as the new normal.
For many, that day has already arrived.
Daily death reports represent families ripped by grief; torn hearts take a long time to heal. Our collective conscience has now sensitized to one another’s health, although we paid a high price to develop such awareness. Doubt others care? Just cough or sneeze in public for the next few months.
Broad societal ills will linger. Millions abruptly lost jobs, billions learned to distance from one another, and economic impact stretches into the trillions. How much will return and when? No one knows. But this we do know: First comes loss, then comes change.
“When the world emerges from the pandemic, the size of the commercial market and the types of products and services our customers want and need will likely be different,” Boeing’s Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun said in a recent message to employees. “It’s important we start adjusting to our new reality now.” (Fortune.com, 04/02/2020)
Mr. Calhoun’s words apply to the nonprofit sector as well. While checking in with a friend who serves as a foundation executive director, he said, “We are busy rethinking how we will do philanthropy.”
Rethinking means new funding decisions based on new priorities and new lessons learned. For a long time, the adage “You’re either growing or dying” drove decision-making for nonprofits. Today, “Rethink or regret” seems more apropos. Wise nonprofit leaders will consider now what new approaches, programs, structures, and messages need to take place – adjustments to a new reality.
Again, you have permission to change. Actually, it looks more like a mandate.
In the immediate term, start with three core questions every organization should answer:
While the pandemic-induced shut-down caught many organizations unprepared, make decisions now to prepare for when everything turns on again. As the president of a healthcare professionals association recently said, “Every organization has received an opportunity to press the big re-do button.”
What specific areas serve as mid- or long-term change candidates? Schedule a video call and brainstorm opportunities around these general topics:
For many organizations, these are no small changes. True; but remember that you now have permission.
© 2020 David Staal. All rights reserved. davidstaal.net
David Staal serves as a consultant to the nonprofit sector following 11 years as President & CEO of a national organization (Kids Hope USA), 10 years in church staff leadership (Willow Creek Community Church), and a 13-year marketing career (Abbott Laboratories). A senior editor for Christianity Today International for 12 years, he also authored these books: