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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What’s Your Word?

If you have been reading my blog regularly, I think that you get my point that I think all relationships are important toward the achievement of any nonprofit’s mission. So many different groups of people have a lot to offer to your nonprofit.

Do you believe this too? If so, do you act on what you believe?

If your organization truly values all relationships, you’ve likely moved beyond the donor-centric language. Instead, you might be using more accurate words: supporters, customers or constituents — instead of a catchall term like “donors.”

So tell me, what word does your nonprofit organization use to talk about your collective relationships? Do you use supporters, constituents, customers or something else? For whatever word you use, what does this definition include for you (volunteers, government officials, general community members)? Please share your thoughts in the comments box of this post.

…And if you aren’t at the stage of changing your internal language yet, I hope that this post made you stop and think about what you might need to change for your organization…


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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 Big Picture

I had one of those moments this week. The moment where you realize… I see the big picture, but am I helping everyone else see the big picture too? Are people following me blindly, with trust that I see the light at the end of the tunnel?

I’m a big picture person. I have to know the answer to “…to what end?” at all times. When I know the big picture, my brain just works in terms of goals, strategies, tactics… you get the idea. I’m a strategy person. Beyond that, I really like to make plans that achieve the strategies I’m after. I’m a planning person. But even I get lost in the weeds some times.

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