Other Nonprofits Are Better Than You

This week, I’ve had a LOT of conversations with nonprofit leaders about how they feel behind, overly stressed and have already lost their New Year’s momentum.


The prime reason? Comparing themselves to other organizations who seem to have their $#*! together.


Some of the more recent complaints?


“How come they get all the major gifts and can complete their projects and have big wins?”


“Why does the media always feature them in local magazines, the paper and on the news?”


“When are we going to get those types of donors on our board to help fundraise for us?”


Because those nonprofits are better than yours at fundraising, marketing and connecting with influencers, that’s why.


And that’s ok!


Those big ‘ol groups have 10 more staff then you, been around 80 years longer than you, and have budgets that include state and national funding.


I know it sounds weird, but let ‘em have it.


You fawning over the smallest percentage of nonprofits that dominate the local or regional market doesn’t help you serve those that depend on you the most.


And those that depend on you don’t care about those organization’s success.


They care about you.


Your donors don’t care about capital campaigns that don’t align with their values or desire to make an impact.


They care about you and your nonprofit’s mission.


Your volunteers don’t care to give up their time and talent for the projects on the front page of the newspaper.


They care about the way serving with you makes them feel great.


We get so carried away with looking at other’s success that we sometimes forget the layers of impact our own nonprofit makes on the community that we live in.


We get so green with envy regarding the vanity metrics of “likes” and “follows” on social media that we sometimes forget that nearly everything posted is just a scrubbed version of reality.


We get so concerned that our supporters are going to jump ship to the shiny object being paraded as the next big thing that we forget how many individuals depend on us and how our donors appreciate the hard work, effort and impact we make.


As you look towards the end of the week, it’s important to remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished. Not only that, but think about the waterfall effect of your successes, no matter how small they seem.


That $100 gift from an individual provides you the ability to help pay your employees who drive the incredible programs you’ve created. That $20 gift allowed you to purchase tangible items to better serve others. That speaking opportunity allowed you to tell your story to more people who might just connect deeply to your mission and approach you about helping or connecting to an individual with high capacity.


It doesn’t matter if other organizations are better than yours.


When it comes to making a difference and fulfilling your mission, you get to stand on equal ground on the same stage with the big boys and girls.


And that’s a pretty fantastic mindset to have in order to help get out of whatever early year funk you might be in.


You freaking got this!


-Patrick