INK Consulting Blog

INK Consulting’s mission is to help nonprofit organizations realize the potential of all relationships. INK combines hands-on experience, strategic thinking and a healthy view of the big picture to help nonprofits create an organizational culture of concentrating on what really drives mission success: relationships.


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Change: Be SMARTER about It.

We all know change isn’t easy… right? Personal change is hard enough: all the reflection, commitment and self-recognition that goes in to change can be exhausting.

Well if it is so hard to change yourself, isn’t it even harder to change an organization? I say no.

I say change isn’t hard because of one thing: Attitude. When change is imminent, attitude is everything. You must have a positive attitude about the tough road of change ahead. And that, my friends, makes all the difference.

In addition to a positive attitude, it helps to have a plan for change. A roadmap of sorts. What always works for me, personally and professionally, is the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goal-setting template. I’ve been using this for personal and business goals as I kicked off 2013, so I feel compelled to share it with you, my loyal blog readers. Here’s to setting SMARTER goals in 2013!

SMARTER means that goals should be…

Specific. What do I/we want to accomplish?

Measurable. How will I/we know when our goal is accomplished?

Actionable. Is the goal something that I/we can do something about?

Results-Oriented. Will this goal help me/we achieve other goals toward our desired end state/mission?

Time-Specific. Have I/we committed to a realistic deadline?

Enjoyable. Will I/we feel fulfilled in achieving this goal?

Relevant. Does this goal match other efforts?

change

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Calling All (Logic Model) Nerds

I’m a true believer that you can’t get anywhere without a map. (I can hear my husband laughing now because I’m the most directionally challenged person on the planet. I love my GPS.) But, in nonprofit speak — which is my favorite lingo! — you have to know how you plan to get where you are going. Ah, behold the logic model.

You can find endless logic model examples on Google, Wikipedia and the like. Nell Edgington at Social Velocity has a great tool that I highly recommend, a step-by-step guide for Creating a Theory of Change. Logic models are crucial tools that help businesses and nonprofits alike. I mean, sometimes I use a logic model to think about how I might attack my day. But I’m a logic model nerd, so…

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Painting a (Relationship) Picture

Anyone that knows me is probably chuckling right now that I am writing a post titled painting a picture. Lucky for you, I’m not talking about a real picture. I don’t have an ounce of artistic skill in my body.

Like I said in my last post, shifting to become a relationship mindset organization starts with believing. Your organization has to believe that relationships will achieve the mission. Your organization has to believe that money is not the only way to achieve the mission. After you believe, two important steps come next.

  1. 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.
  2. Your organization has to engage people to achieve the mission.

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It All Starts with a Belief…

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.

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The Importance of Relationships

Re·la·tion·ship (noun) A connection, association or involvement. An emotional or other connection between people.

In nonprofits, relationships are everything. To achieve your mission, you need people. You need people who are willing to help you put in the effort to help you achieve your mission. You need people who are committed to donating their time to help you achieve your mission. You need people who are willing to invest their money to help you achieve your mission. You need a staff to help keep all the parts moving. Nonprofits must have relationships — connection, association, involvement. And you have to make it emotional to build a lasting relationship. These enduring, lasting relationships will make a difference in how your organization views the strategies needed to achieve your mission. Simply stated: nonprofits need people to succeed.

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