Closed for Business: Mission Accomplished

What if you could eliminate hunger in your community? What if you could ensure that everyone in your community had a roof over their head? What if everyone had access to the right education for them? What if you could post a sign that said “Closed for Business: Mission Accomplished?”

If that were your goal, how would that change the way you work? How would that change the way you communicate your story?

Do you think people in your community might get excited about helping to make your vision a reality? Deep down, most people want to make an impact and leave their community a better place than they found it. Focusing on a big vision will make your fundraising much less painful and even enjoyable. And, you might not be surprised that this is a focus area for Sandy Rees, a fundraising coach who helps organizations get fully funded.

For many organizations, this requires a pretty dramatic shift in focus. It’s much bigger than what you may have been working on up to this point and small adjustments will most likely not be able to bring about dramatic change.

There are three things that help to enable this type of dramatic shift.

First, of course, is developing your big vision. For a food bank, it could be eliminating hunger. For a research organization, eliminating a disease. For an organization bringing clean water to communities, aiming to ensure that everyone on the globe has access to clean water. In many ways, this will become a rallying cry to introduce and invite others to help the vision become a reality.

Next is taking a look at your mission. This talks about how you will accomplish your vision. Keep it simple enough so that people who don’t have your background and familiarity with the issue will understand it. You can also use this to educate people about the need in your community. Why is this important? How will people’s lives be different as a result of what you do?

And finally, your plan. What steps will you take to eradicate a disease or eliminate hunger? Rather than just looking at what you can do with the money you have, figure out how much money you will need to implement your plan. How many staff people will it take? How much more space? What supplies and resources will you need? Map it out, let people know about it, and invite people to help accomplish that goal.

Vision, mission, plan. Are you ready?


Closed for Business: Mission Accomplished — 3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Fundraising Headlines: March 27, 2012 | Growing Your Donors

  2. My first corporate job out of school used that mentality. I worked for a company that encouraged its employees to “work yourself out of a job and we’ll promise to find you a better role in the company.” The idea was that you’d be rewarded for finding a better way to do something, either by eliminating your job through technology or process improvements. It’s an interesting angle for nonprofits, Kirsten. No doubt more good stuff will come during your bootcamp!

  3. I heartily agree. In John Carver’s classic, Boards that make a difference, he challenges all of us with two simple but really big questions: What Good? For Whom?

    If you don’t understand what you are really trying to accomplish, it’s hard to craft a strategy that will get you there. And remember, it’s likely you can’t do it alone.