For You To Get Off Your Butt and Make Some GOOD Happen! And Make It Count.
I know. I’m constantly in your face telling you about how the nonprofit world needs a shot in the arm of this or that or why it’s lame and why it can be so much MORE than it is right now.
I get it. I’m really a fanatic about this stuff.
I’m hoping you might be one too, which is why I assume you are reading this blog post…
Here’s the deal. The world is a mess. People are enslaved all over the world. Billions of people lack adequate food, water, shelter and education. Poverty runs rampant right here at home. Mental illnesses hobble people in their tracks and there’s little we do for them as a society to help them get well.
That’s true. All of it. Right now.
And that’s why it INFURIATES ME to see how we run our nonprofit businesses these days. Because, like it or not, nonprofits are businesses.
We ask timidly for money (grants, donations, handouts). We shrug our shoulders when we don’t get it. We do more with less (gag!).
We keep running ourselves and our entire organizations ragged with more work and more need and more demand and fewer resources.
And we just think this is normal. It’s the way of the world. Nobody invests in social GOOD, do they?
Nobody thinks the “least of these” – the people and places we serve, our causes – are worth more than the scraps and crumbs they throw our way, right?
Nonprofits need to just suck it up and keep trucking this way, mirroring the plight of the very people and places they have set out to serve! Right? RIGHT?!?
W. R. O. N. G.
We For-Purpose people? We?
WE HAVE TO DO ONE BETTER.
We owe it to our causes, our people, our places – the things that matter most. The poorest of the poor, the weakest of the weak, the smallest of the small, the dirtiest of the dirty. We owe it to these people, these places – to do better. TO INVEST. In ourselves. In our work. In our organizations.
We owe it to them to build a stronger foundation from which our work and efforts spring. We owe it to them to create a solid infrastructure within our business so we can provide them with effective, powerful results! True change, true transformation will only be sustained if it is planted in the fertile soil of a stable, strong, self-determined business.
That’s not waste. That’s not extravagance. That’s BEING RESPONSIBLE.
Who do you answer to?
Government agencies who regulate you, who provide you with money to do your work?
Or, do you answer to your people?
Your actual, tangible, real results?
Do you know what your results ARE?
Do you know whether those results even matter to the people you’re trying to help?
You’re not just doing stuff and hoping it helps, right? Are you??
If you are. Just stop.
Really stop, and look at your world for a second. What have you built? What are you building? Are you just toiling away and barely scraping by – in your life, in your organization? Are you really building something that will last? Are you creating a world where you and the people you partner with are sustained – fulfilled – made whole in the work you do?
Or are you exhausted. Out of ideas. Out of resources. No better off than the people you’re trying to help. And you don’t know what to do next?
You don’t have to stay this way.
My mission, my personal, real, secret mission in this world? You want to know what it really is? It’s going to sound crazy, but just hear me out:
My mission is to work with people like you, to rekindle your passion, to find your spark, to anchor your skills and abilities, to build and define YOUR true mission – so together we will transform the nonprofit sector.
That’s it. No big deal.
The nonprofit sector is just an imaginary entity made up of a few million people like you and me. People with a heart for something bigger than themselves or their paychecks. People who see a need and want to meet it. Who are creative, determined, generous and passionate.
You are one of these champions! If you are reading this far, heck, you ARE a champion.
You can be a change agent, not just for the people you serve and care about, but for the entire sector you’re employed within, or want to be employed in, or volunteer for, or serve on a board for – what EVER your role – you can create something better. Something STRONGER!
I believe that nonprofit people, the really dedicated ones – the ones who even burn out and get stuck or move on – I believe that you were born with a purpose. With something to give to the world that is more than just your natural value for existing (which is a thing too! If you do nothing else, ever again in your whole life? You still matter. You still have value – you know this because you think other people have value, don’t you? I assume so, or I can’t imagine why you’d devote your career to working in the nonprofit sector!).
Your extra work – the things you put your hand to – the cause you serve – that stuff is all BONUS for the world. It’s the gift of you PLUS the extra gems you have in your soul. And you want to share that good stuff! You want to find it, mine it, refine it and share it. You are a wealth of goodness. Somewhere in you, you know this is true.
Today, I want to ask you to do something. I don’t really ask for stuff all that often – I’m mostly trying to give you value – encouragement, information, tools, etc…
But today, I want to ask you to do something big.
I want you to take five minutes, just five – more if you want, but at least five – to find your mission. What is YOUR personal mission?
It has taken me a while to really figure out how to put to words what my mission is, but I did it through a process. I’ll tell you how I did it, so you can try this if you get stuck:
I started with my tagline “nonprofits are businesses, too. Run yours like a boss!” That tagline came to me the moment I launched Lean Nonprofit, LLC. It spoke to me. It made sense.
So I asked myself “why?”
What does this mean? I wrote a series of statements, and asked myself the same thing over and over, until I got to the core of what my mission – my message – really is.
Some people call this exercise “5 Why’s.” I call it “As Many Why’s As it Takes Until You Know You’re Done.”
Now. Start with something you think is true about why you do what you do, what you think you care about, what you think you’re doing. Then, ask “why” over and over and over.
I’ve put a worksheet for you here, with my example in it, to get you really rocking. You can download it for free, and use it to your heart’s content.
Then, one more teeny thing – once you have it down – once you know your mission: What are you going to do about it?
Write down at least ONE thing you will do, right now, this day, this minute if you can – what are you going to do about your mission? How are you going to live it, STRAIGHT UP – out loud, up front?
Then, my last request?
Go. Do. It.
All my raging love!
P.S. Tomorrow I’m putting on a free webinar called “Secrets of Strategic Success.” It’s all about how you can make your PERSONAL and ORGANIZATIONAL mission(s) sizzle and get real in the world. I hope you’ll join me! If you can’t make it live, sign up anyway, and I’ll send you the recording. You don’t want to miss this one! Sign up here.
P.P.S. Only 9 more days to get the great REALLY EARLY BIRD rate off the already reduced rate for Get Strategic NOW! The intensive online strategic planning program based on my best-selling book, "Strategic Planning That Actually Works."