No nonprofit can afford to be an island.
As tempting as it may be to stay in your comfort zone, wearing blinders that enable you to forge straight ahead without noticing what’s going on around you, this is a dangerous practice.
Because sometimes the landscape changes dramatically. And when it does, your nonprofit could get left behind. Unless you’re paying close attention.
This has been happening a lot over the past six years or so, as news and social media has been filling our brains, stoking our fears and tugging at our heartstrings as if from a firehose. People who care, when they see devastation and misery, want to help.
This happens, for instance, when emergencies arise. Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Floods. Fires. Drought. War. Over the course of my four decades in fundraising, there have been years I’ve had donors tell me “This year we’re giving all our extra resources to respond to… Hurricane Katrina… Haiti relief… the Fukushima disaster… the refugee crisis… anti-hate organizations… .” The list goes on an on.
In the face of such natural human impulses, what can you do?
When things outside your nonprofit’s doors portend impact for your ability to fulfill your mission, you need to be prepared.