Timing is Perfect for Impact
There has never ever been a better time to move from being a not-for-profit ‘begging’ for money to a For Impact Organization ‘begging’ for change!!!
A Very Important Message:
Thirty days or so left before the end of the ’06. I’m driving back from Notre Dame after meeting with Jim Davis and Melissa Paulsen (Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies) about Social Entrepreneurism, Micro Ventures, etc. (By the way: Great people. Great program. Great place.)
Here’s my MOTIVATIONAL YEAR-END MESSAGE for every member of the FOR IMPACT COMMUNITY:
THERE HAS NEVER EVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO MOVE FROM BEING A NOT-FOR-PROFIT ‘BEGGING’ FOR MONEY TO A FOR IMPACT ORGANIZATION ‘BEGGING’ FOR CHANGE!!!
Never, at least in my lifetime (57 years), has there ever been such a
Confluence … Congruence … Coming-together … around this whole idea of PHILANTHROPY, GENEROSITY, SOCIAL IMPACT, SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURISM, SOCIAL INNOVATION and more.
This ‘PERFECT STORM’ … this ‘TIPPING POINT’ … this ‘(put in any other metaphor/analogy you want that helps you get it)’ should make everyone who’s engaged in this 3rd Sector, Social Sector, Philanthropic (Friend of Mankind) World very, very EXCITED! [This includes not just the staff who deliver, but the Boards, Volunteers and Volunteer Leaders and Investors who make it happen.]
My BOTTOM LINE: IF … you are actually making an IMPACT … making a DIFFERENCE … CHANGING the WORLD (or a small part of it) …
THEN there are plenty of people, prospects and potential investors who will help FUND that VISION, those GOALS and your OPERATION!!!
WHY?? Because it makes them FEEL GOOD! GREAT! HAPPY! FULFILLED! It allows people to move from SUCCESS to SIGNIFICANCE!!! (It’s been scientifically confirmed that ‘giving/helping’ is good for you! In addition, the MORE you GIVE … THE MORE YOU GET! (I’ve personally witnessed this thousands of times and still don’t understand HOW it works, but it does.)
This whole thing began, at least in my mind, with Bill Gates, in the shower, realizing he had more money than he’d ever need … and that he could make a HUGE IMPACT if he focused on BIG world (and U.S.) problems (health and education). Then, he brought in Melinda, his dad, and Patty Stonecipher.
Then we got the whole West Coast ‘V.C.’: Social Venture Capital thing happening, from Paul Shoemaker in Seattle to Jeff Skoll in San Francisco. (This wasn’t the full ‘answer’, but it created great ‘DIALOGUE’ around investing, return-on=investment, effectiveness, duplication of efforts, and more.
On the East Coast, this MOVEMENT got even more traction when large foundations were challenged on their giving goals and policies. [Huge endowments, giving away only ‘5%’, and only for new programs, never for ‘operations’, etc.]
Then … WHAM: 9/11. KATRINA. TSUNAMIS & HURRICANES. And we realized that AMERICA … and AMERICANS … are the most incredibly GENEROUS people on the planet!
Then, Pierre Omidyar (eBay) ‘invests’ $100 Million in micro-lending opportunities and other programs, and doesn’t care if you’re a ‘for profit’ or a not-for-profit’, as long as you are FOR IMPACT!
Then, Warren gives Bill and Melinda ‘a few bucks’ ($38 Billion!) … to have an IMPACT! (While he’s still alive.)
Then, the MEDIA. SLATE magazine recognizes the LARGEST GIVERS. So does BUSINESS WEEK. Stanford launches the SOCIAL INNOVATION REVIEW. FAST COMPANY, with Michael Porter, creates the Social Capital Awards. The ECONOMIST comes out in February of 06 with a first ever survey on philanthropy, social impact, etc. WALL STREET JOURNAL picks up on the ‘theme’.
Last week, John Stoussel does an entire 20/20 on the GENEROSITY of AMERICANS. [Eli Broad tells Stoussel that it’s not about ‘CHARITY’. It’s about an INVESTMENT! He goes on to say basically he can’t find enough GOOD ORGANIZATIONS … making an IMPACT!]. USA TODAY follows up next day with an editorial.
And then there’s OPRAH. She not only covers, encourages , inspires this MOVEMENT … but this year (in lieu of personal gifts/cars to the audience) she gives each of her 342 audience members $1,000 … and CHALLENGES them to ‘PAY IT FORWARD’ (give it away) … to feel the JOY of helping others.
And then there was the BUSINESS, SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE CORPORATIONS, CAUSE MARKETING phenomena that is now ready to EXPLODE! The funny thing? Social responsibility, fair trade, workers rights and the BIGGIE (that’s going to change the world as we know it) ‘GREEN’, eco-friendly, environmentally-conscious … all end up making more money for these ‘do-gooders’!
Starbucks. Wal-Mart. Timberland. IBM. Companies are now willing to step up and say ‘SHAREHOLDER VALUE’ is not just ‘QUARTERLY PROFIT’ but a COMMITMENT to the COMMUNITY and the PLANET. [You must read CAPITALIZING ON CONVERGENCE at Stanford Social Innovation Review.]
And then, a huge WOW! Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank win the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE … for his micro-lending, micro-entrepreneur, micro-IMPACT model! (I was there. In Bangladesh. Saw what goes on with these mostly women and their micro-enterprises. It’s absolutely incredible.)
The biggie here? He gets the ‘PEACE’ prize because ELIMINATING POVERTY is one of the best ways to fix social problems in the 3rd world!!!
What does this all mean to you?
We live in the most GENEROUS country in the world … and perhaps in the history of the world.
Next year, Americans will give well over $300 Billion.
McKinsey says there is $100 Billion of OPPORTUNITY (money left on the table) because of the high cost of fundraising or the lack of ability to communicate our IMPACT/MESSAGE.
Finally, there is going to be $100 Trillion passed on by us old people in the next 30 years give or take.
From my perspective, all this means that THE MOST COMMON ‘NONPROFIT’ PROBLEM/CHALLENGE/ COMPLAINT is totally ‘MISGUIDED’ (read WRONG).
“We don’t have any money.”
“We need more money.”
“We don’t have any prospects.”
“We have no relationships.”
That thinking is sooooo wrong!!!
If you ever, ever, ever read or heard our For Impact MESSAGE, then you’ll know that the BIG ‘POINT’ here is that it’s not about your ‘fundraising’ and ‘prospects’ and ‘money’ … it’s about your IMPACT.
Again, (repetition is a good thing) IF … you are actually making an IMPACT … making a DIFFERENCE … CHANGING the WORLD or a small part of it …THEN there are plenty of people, prospects and potential investors who will help FUND that VISION, those GOALS and your OPERATION!!!
*The BIG ASSUMPTION here is that you actually KNOW what that VISION is … and that you’re able to ARTICULATE your GOALS and your MESSAGE in a Clear, Concise and Compelling fashion … Consistently!
CALL TO ACTION:
- This is the perfect time of the year and the perfect time in history for you to sit down with a committed group of CHAMPIONS and work on your VISION and your MESSAGE! DO IT!
- THINK BIG. BUILD SIMPLE. ACT NOW! (‘Nuf said.)
- Then … go forth and JUST ASK!!!
Special Note: In this forum, I rarely talk about what we at For Impact/The Suddes Group can do to help you. This is that rare exception.
- If you need help with ‘BOARD TRAINNG’ to better understand the For Impact Message and Methodology … we can do that.
- If you need help CLARIFYING YOUR MESSAGE, GAINING CONSENSUS ON YOUR PRIORITIES, and CREATING A FUNDING PLAN … we can do that.
- If you need help with ‘SALES’, MAJOR GIFTS, CAMPAIGNS or anything related to significantly increasing your INCOME … we can do that.
Just email or call Nick … firstname.lastname@example.org/614-352-2505.