No, this is not a love story. Not a religious story. Not a story about self-confidence. It is not even a story at all.
I’ve stated it in my pasts posts — I’m passionate about relationships. It is my opinion that relationships are what will bring nonprofits success. I believe in the power of relationships. I truly believe that relationships mean everything for nonprofits.
Most nonprofits, with good reason, focus heavily on donors as a key segment of people. This focus stems from the belief that money will solve the problems that the organizational mission seeks to achieve. Plain, simple, and not entirely untrue.
But… I encourage nonprofits to take a leap of faith; I encourage nonprofits to believe in the power of relationships. In order to move away from a transactional way of thinking, nonprofits have to change their mindset to focus on relationships with all of their people/customers/constituents. Doing so all starts with a belief…
Ok, maybe four beliefs. In order to become a relationship-minded organization, it looks like this:
- Your organization has to wholeheartedly believe that relationships will achieve the mission.
- Your organization has to believe that money is not the only way to achieve the mission.
- Your organization has to look at the big picture and recognize what various people can offer toward achieving the mission. Donors are not the only people who matter.
- Your organization has to engage people to achieve the mission.
When mapped like this, it sounds so simple to become a relationship-focused organization. And at the end of the day, it is simple. These beliefs have to be at the forefront, and the strategies to achieve these belief statements are the next step. In future posts, I’ll talk about the steps successful nonprofits have taken on their journey to become relationship-focused organizations.
You have to be willing to put yourself out there, take chances and believe in your organization’s potential. You have to build relationships with many, many, many people.