This week’s Clairity Click-it – your eclectic array of easy to-“click-it” links to posts I’ve found thought provoking. With, of course, a few comments of my own.
Click-it: To Move Ahead You Have to Know What to Leave Behind. I love this article from the Harvard Business Review. It points to the number one reason organizations have difficulty with change: “The Latin root of the word “decide” is caidere which means “to kill or to cut.” (Think homicide, suicide, genocide.) Technically, deciding to do something new without killing something old is not a decision at all. It is merely an addition.” Is your nonprofit plagued by the “change-by-addition” approach? If you will be a great nonprofit leader you will make decisions where others cannot.
Nonprofit Management: Staff Retention
Click-it: The Secret to Managing Nonprofit Staff. Alas, this is something most of us think about too little. Yet it’s critical to your success. Nonprofit leadership consultant Joan Garry offers this insightful perspective on what makes nonprofit staff tick, and how you can help them to keep on ticking. A lot of it is understanding why your staff came to nonprofit work. To help them stay connected to their passions requires giving them ownership. The next time one of your staff comes to you with a knotty problem, consider asking them this question: What would you do if I weren’t here – if the decision was entirely yours? Tweet this!
Click-it: Businesses with a Social Conscience Reach a Tipping Point. This article from Chronicle of Philanthropy highlights the growing movement for entrepreneurs with a social conscience to set up “B corps” that have both a financial and a social bottom line. If that sounds a bit like social benefit sector thinking, it is. And many believe it is the wave of the future… the savior of a nonprofit sector that has been chasing too few dollars and changing too slowly to adapt to 21st century realities… and the potential solution to society’s ills in a day when problems have become so huge and intractable that the only way to move the needle is by working together. It’s worth thinking about.
New Nonprofit Funding Source
Click-it: Wall Street Pennies Can Yield Nonprofit Billions. This Op-Ed by Mark Rosenman appeared in the Huffington Post and Chronicle of Philanthropy. It encourages the nonprofit sector to support a financial transaction tax. He notes: Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) have introduced a financial transaction tax modeled after one approved by the European Parliament to be implemented in eleven nations. Oddly, while their version of this “Wall Street speculators sales tax which has attracted support from over 40 national nonprofit organizations and labor unions, it has not caught the imagination of local and regional charities or nonprofit sector leaders. Here’s a counterpoint by Michael Rosen: Philanthropy at Gunpoint. What do you think?
Click-it: Smallest Change. I continue to be inspired by the inimitable Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void. This cartoon talks about the “butterfly effect” coined by Edward Lorenz to describe the theoretical example of a hurricane’s formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly flapped its wings several weeks earlier. In other words, big change can come about as the result of incremental small changes. This ties in to one of my favorite teachings in Pirkei Avot [Ethics of the Fathers] in the Mishnah explaining the Torah: “It is not your responsibility to finish the work [of perfecting the world], but you are not free to desist from it either” (2:16). This is a great reminder for volunteers and donors who may be frustrated or feel their contribution is not enough to make a difference. It starts with one step forward. We heal the world one person, one day, one minute at a time.
Click-it: Pinterest: The Secret SEO Weapon That (Almost) Nobody Else Is Using. I love this Social Media Examiner article because it agrees with me! For some time now I’ve been encouraging nonprofits to hop on the boards. There’s a lot of opportunity, and not a lot of competition. Yet. If you need some help figuring out why you should do this, and how to get started, take a look at my new “Hop on the Boards’ eBook and Pinteresting Resources Guide.
Email Welcomes: Follow-up
Click-it: A missed opportunity: Your nonprofit’s welcome message. In last week’s Click-it I included a piece about the importance of an email welcome series for new newsletter (or blog) subscribers and donors who give online. This is so often overlooked, and so important, that I’m directing you to a follow-up from the fabulous Pamela Grow. Seize your opportunities for relationship building! Not sending a welcome email equates to not thanking someone for a gift — it’s bad form, bad karma. Tweet this!
The Clairity Click-it is a weekly publication linking to insights inspired by the 7 Clairification Principles that help you “clairify” your values, stories, branding opportunities, social marketing channels, support constituencies, engagement objectives and resources. Check out my 23-page Special Guide to Unlock Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Potential which builds on these principles. If you don’t find it practical and useful, just let me know and I’ll do whatever I can to make you happy. To your success!
Speaking of donor thank you’s, you may be interested in my new special guide Creative Ways to Use Thank You’s to Retain Donors for Life. I also have another new guide for you, Pinterest “Hop on the Boards’ eBook and Pinteresting Resources Guide with everything you need to get started, drive traffic and engage your supporters using this amazing visual medium. To your success!
Photo: Flickr, Isaac Torronterra
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