Monday, November 12, 2007

Results for Rewards

A study recently completed for the Linchpin Campaign pointed to the value of not only results but also direct communication when talking with donors about progressive causes. As reported in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Project Director Majorie Fine said: "Some people were saying, 'We see what happens in the short term, we don't see the big picture. It means that communication is key to getting more donors that want to support this work."

Read a summary of the campaign.

For all of you involved in progressive nonprofit work, seek out opportunities at your next retreat or in your next Board meeting to push your thinking about the vision for your organization and clarify what you expect to see as you take steps toward its achievement. Bring in a facilitator to guide the discussion.

Consider this framework: Your organization was invited to participate in a charitable contest. An eccentric philanthropist identified three progressive organizations. Each organization has to pitch a pathway project. Winner take all. $15 million. The prize is awarded based on the thinking and on the presentation. Break out into small groups and brainstorm your organization's pitch.

Perhaps something more concrete might help your group ... Identify your major programs. Break out into small groups and link each program to your long-term plan or your organization's vision. Present. Have each person critique the clarity of the presentation as well as the program's connection to both the bigger picture and the delivery of results.

And, if your organization doesn't have that plan or that vision ... stop. Don't go another step without consulting with a professional who can help you build a framework for your future success. It not only helps employees, it helps donors see that you value the greater good and that you understand how your organization is part of a movement for positive social change.
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