It’s been a universe-altering year. And immediately ahead? More opacity. Pending changes in the tax bill have some degree of identifiable impact, even as our sector works hard to fight them back. The Law of Unintended Consequences suggests that we can also expect many more unknown unknowns.
With so much ambiguity, we could simply dwell (and dwell we do) or we could turn our attention to ideas and activities that will deliver results no matter what happens around us. This most excellent malapropism, “Stay the Focus,” perfectly articulates the year-end-2017 and bridge-into-2018 zeitgeist.
To that end, here are some great ideas for “Staying the Focus.”
- Pay It Forward. Staff, Volunteers, and Board are the front lines of any organization. They are your beating heart; they raise your money and deliver your services. Give people a voice and a vote and treat everyone with kindness. They will pay that forward into the world and the organization will benefit.
- Make Someone’s Day. Grantmakers and donors are feeling pretty overwhelmed right about now too. So many great opportunities to give! Knowing money donated to an organization changed lives – that makes someone’s day. If you have the power to share that knowledge, use it!
- Energize Your Story and Brand. With all the changes in the world this year, organizational stories might need a tuning up and a refresh. Focusing on stories that circle back to how your organization delivers on its mission helps center volunteers, staff, and donors on what matters the most. A brand brush up can take those stories to the next level and help better define your organization as it competes for funding in an increasingly challenging environment.
- Embrace Cognitive Dissonance. It’s an approach that makes us all smarter. One of this year’s Nobel Prize winners is someone whose work we’ve followed and admired for a long time, Dr. Richard Thaler, behavioral economist. This work teaches us many things, including the idea that humans reluctantly process new information that contradicts embedded beliefs. Even when the new information is what is so, and the old information is outdated. To make really good decisions, we all must always be most loyal to embracing and processing new ideas and information. Even when it makes us momentarily uncomfortable.
- Inspire Sustainability. Being around for the long-term and delivering on your mission is what matters most. Doing that means having a sound strategy, a talented and well-supported staff, a balanced budget, a great Board Development plan, an eye on the evolution of the world around us, and a funding model you feel good about and that works. That’s the most important work of all, and it’s good and important work that helps so many. We are privileged to be a part of that work with you.
Thank you for making 2017 a wonderful and exciting year at Capital Motion. We look forward to working with you in 2018. Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!