Great Fundraising Video Tip Two: No One Operates in a Vacuum

Thanks for joining me for this second tip in my video series – aimed towards helping you grow Great Fundraising results through increased understanding and better communication.

In the first video, we talked about the importance of understanding that each of us brings a different perspective to our work. In other words, everyone doesn’t think the same way – and that’s okay. In fact, I think there’s great value in that diversity.

Today, we’ll go back in time about 20 years to when I was working on an undergraduate degree in social work. In one of our interpersonal skills classes we talked about the concept of systems theory. That is, the understanding that each of us are a part of different systems around up – and that’s it’s nearly impossible to create dramatic change for one person in a family system without working with the entire family. That’s because when one thing changes, often the rest of the system resists. And we are each a part of multiple systems – we’re part of a family, part of a workplace, perhaps part of a club or part of a church. Within our workplaces even, we’re often part of different systems: our own department, perhaps the executive team or a management team. The truth remains though, any time one part of a system – or workplace – changes, resistance will form. In my opinion not because people are resistant to what is changing – simply to the change itself.

You might be wondering what this has to do with Great Fundraising – let’s go back to the report from Clayton Burnett I mentioned yesterday. One of the indicators they identified as enabling fundraising to thrive was high quality thinking – including recognizing the systems that exist in an organization and being able manage those systems to achieve change.

Once we understand that no one operates in a vacuum, we can start looking at the overall picture and change our approach, rather than get frustrated when the resistance starts.

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