Whatever you did in the past is relevant, but it doesn’t mean it’s exactly what you should be doing today. Relevant means pertaining to or connected to. Your history is always connected with you in some manner. But it’s not always germane (central) or apropos (to the point and opportune).
If you say…
That’s not the way we do things.
We tried that; it doesn’t work.
We don’t need research; we know what our audience cares about.
The only way to truly seize the opportunities that lay before you is to pay attention to today. To your environment. To the competition. To the evolving needs of your constituents, both clients and supporters. To your changing self – your surfacing strengths and potential weaknesses.
To stay relevant means listening to the conversation. To what people are saying about the world, and about you. It’s easiest when you’re part of it. When people actually want to talk to you. When they seek out your authority, opinion, advice and support.
Join the conversation. Actively. It’s the only way to truly make change happen.
Get intrapersonal. Do what you must to self assess. What is unique about you? What’s your unfair advantage? Where are you vulnerable?
Get interpersonal. Take an interest in others as you do with yourself.
Figure out how your evolution (not your past) has relevance to the evolution of your audience. It’s the only way you can add practical value to people’s lives and to the world.
That’s your significance; your reason for being. And theirs.
For help assessing your organization’s relevance and unlocking your fundraising potential check out this SPECIAL GUIDE with easy-to-follow worksheets and exercises to get you – and your supporters – on the path towards more meaningful engagement. The 23-page Clairification Keys to Unlock Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Potential will give you fresh insights into how fundraising and marketing have changed more in the past 5 years than in the previous 50 – and what that means for you and your organization.
P.S. I’m offering a free webinar that will help you join the conversation swirling all around you in social channels. If you’ve dipped your toe in the waters and would like to dive gracefully into the deep end, this is for you. Register here.
As always, feel free to contact me!
Photo: Flickr, fe2cruz