Growing a small nonprofit is hard. Growing a small business is hard.
Turns out, the frameworks for process, clarity of messaging, purposefulness of events, and delegation of duties to keep teams sane, are nearly identical as well.
And oh boy, do I have all the thoughts.
This week, our team closed the office for two days for a strategic retreat as we ramp up for a Midwest tour of fundraising conference awesomeness.
The amount of prep work, logistics, balancing client needs, selling sponsorships, recruiting attendees and leaving room for creativity and fun was getting unsustainable.
In addition to all that, we’re still producing three podcasts a week, hosting bi-weekly webinars, soliciting for new client work, prepping for a slew of upcoming speaking events and presentations, developing programming for future trainings, along with countless coffee meetings for “pick your brain” sessions.
We’re a small but mighty group of Do Gooders, but wearing 10,000 different hats and running around like half of them are on fire, does nothing but pave a road straight to burnout.
I know it does because we talk with organizations and leaders like you every day.
And the more nonprofits we chat with, the more we relate – not only from our previous work in the seats of fundraising and leadership where you are right now – but also where we currently sit as awesome humans who just want to make the world a better place, but are constantly climbing over roadblocks, distractions and self-doubt on reaching our own big hairy audacious goals.
We know you might feel lonely fighting this up-hill fundraising battle every day.
We know you might feel defeated when the idea or opportunity you bring to leadership is met with a tepid response and not the enthusiasm you need to push forward.
We know you may feel like you don’t know enough to have conversations with high level executives of companies who’s signs hang on other nonprofit’s buildings or find their way on the pages of annual reports.
We know you may have a sense of guilt that you can’t find the time to get a hold of donors to say thank you, or get to know them as well as you should in between times you ask them for money.
We know how frustrated you feel about your board of directors setting unrealistic expectations on you and your team and how you struggle to come up with ways to engage that same leadership team to help you open doors to high capacity individuals.
We know how you feel when there are seemingly more “no’s” than “yesses” when asking for time, talent and treasure.
And we know it, because we’ve been there.
We know it, because we’re right there with you.
I pride myself on being the most enthusiastic cheerleader you’ll ever come across. In fact, Do Good Better was started because I saw so much potential in the small nonprofits who just needed a bit of hand holding and encouragement in order to figure out what to do in order to move the needle forward.
But sometimes positive vibes, good feels, “rah rah” cries of “you can do this!” might seem a tad disingenuous when you are on the struggle bus and feeling like everyone else gets this fundraising stuff, while you grind away with results that aren’t as awesome as you believe they could be.
Want a bit of truth that you might find hard to accept?
You AREN’T alone.
Your ideas ARE valid.
You ARE the expert.
You DESERVE grace.
You are SELF AWARE of your goals.
You’re gonna get that YES.
We’re in this together gang. If you’re reading this, or a part of the DGB community, let’s get one thing clear: we’re making the world a better place for all the small nonprofits that usually get left behind.
And you’re a part of it.
Your success is critical to creating the rising tide that will help all nonprofit ships.
We spent a lot of time reflecting this week on what lies ahead, the way you and your nonprofit pause at least once a year to unplug, reconnect and get focused on where you are going and what impact you’re going to make.
It fired us up.
We’re a small but mighty team, just like you. And whether you casually follow us, wonder what sort of awesome things we can do together, or need clarity on that next step to help push you ahead. We got you.
‘Cause we’re scrappy, lean, and mean just like your organization.
And there’s nothing we’d love more than to help you Do Good. Better.
Oh, that conference tour? CLICK HERE to join us! Know a group that would benefit from all this awesomeness? Send them the info! We’re gonna rock your socks off…in the most professional way ever.
WE’VE got this…together!