As a sort-of extrovert I am spending lots of time checking in with friends, clients and colleagues
Reaching out helps me feel connected personally and professionally - and it gives me an opportunity to identify how my Arthur Alley colleagues and I can give back. During a conversation last week, a client friend noted that when a crisis hits, the warts show.
After I finished laughing at this seemingly odd comment, I asked him what he meant. We were discussing fundraising and he said the COVID19 has highlighted the fundraising inefficiencies in his organization and, as a result, he and his co-workers are concerned about the future. This can be a scary place to be…you begin to notice problems and then you see the decrease in funding. EEEK!!
As a naturally solutions-oriented person, I thought, “what can I offer?” Two pieces of advice came to mind immediately:
#1: CONTINUE TO TELL YOUR STORY
While the fundraising process may need to be improved (there is always room for improvement no matter what anyone says), the organization needs financial support to continue its mission now! Focus on that first. What’s the #1 reason people don’t give: They aren’t asked!! Don’t let the warts slow you down.
Keep telling your organization’s story in relevant ways AND give people an opportunity to support your good work. I am amazed at the amazing, positive things happening…organizations are feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, providing free educational resources for students, collecting (and even making) face masks for medical professionals. Sharing the positive news about your organization’s activities can spur contributions! Telling your story can help stabilize cash flow to ensure your good work continues.
#2: FIND SOLUTIONS (address the warts)
Identify the problems and find solutions. I once had a boss who said, “Don’t bring me a problem without a solution.” AMEN. If a problem is identified, work to find a solution (make this a team effort since chances are you are not the only one who is aware of it). And if the solution is not easily identifiable or addressed, seek assistance from professionals who can help.
I’ll share more about finding solutions in a later blog post. For now, PLEASE TAKE MY CALL! It can feel really lonely out here. Or better yet, you call me.