community, Community engagement, Diana Schwenk, diversity, donors, gifts, health, Hump Day Chronicles, inspiration, leadership, mission, motivation, non-profit, organizations, passion, Philanthropy, Philosophy, resources, talents, vision, volunteers
The Other Bottom Line is the name of a blog I hope to introduce to you soon. The name is based on the premise that money is not an organization’s only bottom line.
I believe that a healthy organization is a group of individuals that work together toward a common vision. In order for an organization to make a real, sustainable impact, it needs to engage its entire community.
An organization succeeds when impassioned people motivate others to become engaged by inviting them to participate in fulfilling its mission.
The Other Bottom Line will be a resource and a place to discuss non-profit workers, those they serve and the communities who are engaged with them.
Below are the beginnings of the foundational pieces for The Other Bottom Line. Let me know what you think!
Vision: An engaged community
Mission: building capacity in non-profit organizations by encouraging them to invite like-minded people to become engaged with them.
When an organization’s community is engaged, heart, soul and mind; the resources to support their mission will follow
When two or more people are passionate about a cause, project, mission, etc., and they work together using and valuing each other’s individual gifts and abilities, you create an engaged community. It makes sense to seek out those with a common heart and vision and employ their gifts toward a common purpose.
There really is no point in chasing after highly skilled people or wealthy donors in the hope that you will be able to convince them your cause is worthy if they don’t share your organization’s passion to fulfill its mission . Why spend your time coercing someone to believe in something that doesn’t interest them?
Rather encourage them to engage in an area that relates to their own passion and move on – after all, philanthropy is bigger than just one cause.
The organization’s mission should apply to everyone; from leadership and front-line workers to volunteers, funders and clients
Most organizations have a mission statement. Often their mission is thought of by staff as applying only to their clients/program users. The mission should apply to everyone.
For example I worked at an organization who looked after homeless people. Their mission statement was to mobilize the church and work with the community to compassionately respond to the needs of the less fortunate.
This mission was relevant for everyone from the board of directors and staff to the clients, volunteers and supporters. All were called upon to empower others to fulfill the organization’s mission.
Achieving sustainability through diversity of talents and funding sources
If every person has the same perspective most of the people are not necessary. It is an amazing thing to behold an organization that employs and values gifts and abilities at all levels from a diverse community made up of people with varying backgrounds and experiences.
Adopt the tested and best practices of others – there’s no need to re-invent the wheel
Non-profits need to, and often do, share with and learn from other organizations. If an organization does something well; it should share it with others. This benefits the greater community.
Keeping it to themselves does not give them an advantage. Being generous with information is its own reward.
And when an organization is diving into new waters, they would do well to talk to those who have been there before while also getting feedback from their engaged community.
It’s not about the organization; it’s about their community
What a shame it is when an organization focusses on its own needs over the needs and desires of its engaged community. ESGEE Musings illustrates this well in this post that compares the customer service provided by two different airlines.
Too often organizations deem the latest technology or internal processes as more important than the experiences of those who want to be engaged with them.
This can result in their supporting community being unsure of how they can contribute and wondering if they bring any value at all to the organization. If organizations do not endeavor to understand the heart’s desire of their community or honour their contributions, someone who does will scoop them away.
It’s not about the organization. It’s about the community and facilitating a way for people who care, to engage with the organization without overwhelming them with difficult systems.
~ HUMP DAY CHRONICLES ~