Just skimmed something in the paper that said we’ve bottomed out. It went on to say we won’t know for sure. All I know is what I’ve been saying for almost 18 months: This recession will end. And, NOW MORE THAN EVER… we need to be out Presenting the Opportunity.
IF… “The recession is over”… I wonder what many of the ‘nonprofit’ organizations and ‘hiding under the desk’ development officers are going to use for an excuse now?
If you’ve come across any Zen mention of the word TAO (which is pronounced DOW), you know that this is normally translated as ‘THE WAY’. The idea of ‘TAO’ vs. ‘DOW’ is simple. You can be guided by the ‘TAO’ (way) of For Impact, Changing the World, working on your Cause and your Case… or driven by the DOW, which by the way, is not the WAY. It is a meaningless measurement of a bunch of big companies, impacting stockbrokers, short sellers and the media… but has no IMPACT on any of us in this 3rd Sector!
Your choice. You can follow the TAO or follow the DOW.
A lot of “wailing and gnashing of teeth” going on in our sector right now. We hear about a lot of ‘not-for-profits’ worried about all the budget cuts, drops in giving, etc. We have both heard directly and read the “Please help us survive, we won’t make it, we will have to close our doors” lament.
Some (many) of these organizations probably should go out of business. They are duplicative of hundreds of other organizations, a lot of times in the same geographical area. They are poorly run. They have relatively little IMPACT.
In the real world, this happens all the time. Nick always uses the term ‘correction‘. This is a naturally occurring event in the world. Organizations, companies, people come and go.
I just heard a story about three ‘ARTS’ companies in Ireland being told that they will no longer be individually supported… but that they had to combine their programs and resources into one large NATIONAL organization… which has the potential to be in the BITW (Best in the World) category. Personally, I think this makes great sense.
P.S. Positive Note. ‘Going out of business’ can also mean reinventing yourself. You can literally go out of business today and reopen tomorrow as a different kind of organization. (Can you say ‘General Motors’? I’m an Atlas Shrugged guy. An entrepreneur. Don’t like government involvement in anything. However, you’ve got to love the fact that General Motors ‘re-invented’ itself by forming two entities… one with all the good stuff and one with all the bad toxic stuff… and then dumped the bad one.)
I don’t read a lot of ‘fundraising blogs’. Most of my blog list includes sifting through entrepreneurs, business builders, innovators and designers…
Brad Feld is a fun funder/tech entrepreneur/cool guy in Colorado to read @ feld.com. He directed me to 2-Speed (Will Herman) and this post: Remain Aggressive. You need to read this post – it’s strong enough to balance out a lot of the other ‘negativity’ out there around ‘this economy’.
Some bullet points:
Play offense, not defense. Not a time to batten down the hatches – successful companies move fast and innovate (especially in these times).
“You can’t save yourself to success.”
Make sure you respond instead of react, you never panic.
“You have to assume that nothing is coming to you – people, business or new ideas – you have to aggressively go out and hunt down everything that will move your company forward.” — See Tom’s entire message about the economy – Now More than Ever we need to be out, making visits, on the offensive, building and maximizing relationships. See my post last week about HOW to respond.
“think” (that’s all I need to excerpt of that line)
I’ve been talking with a lot of people and organizations on this whole ENGAGE thing, especially as it relates to the ECONOMY.
Not everyone is hiding under their desks waiting for some magic, 5,000 point leap in the Dow. But, I believe everyone is struggling with how to deal with the seeming dichotomy (conundrum) of ENGAGE (Visit. Shoulder-to-Shoulder.) and the media’s constant barrage of “terrible” ECONOMIC news.
TAKE HEART! The word COURAGE comes from French COUR, meaning HEART.
Have the COURAGE (HEART) to get out and ENGAGE… ‘HEART to HEART’… about your CAUSE and your CASE!!!