What’s Your Vision?

coco de mar fruit

When someone plants a Coco-de-mer palm tree, they have a vision that is literally decades in to the future. The Coco-de-mer palm tree takes 25 years to reach maturity and start bearing fruit – which take an additional 7 years to mature.

So what’s your 32-year vision for your organization? What if it were to go out of business? No. Really. What if you did your job so well that the challenge you’re addressing is no longer an issue? If that were your goal, would it change how you work today? Or is it too audacious to even consider?

A vision, to be really compelling, to engage everyone around you, should be something audacious. As you think about it, does your heart start to race? Are you thinking, “maybe it’s really a possibility?”

But then perhaps there’s a naysayer in your organization who tells you all the reasons it can’t happen. Or there’s  nagging doubt in the back of your mind. But it can happen. And nonprofits can lead the way in making it happen.

  • The March of Dimes was instrumental in developing the vaccine to end epidemic polio in the United States (and has since expanded their mission to be stronger, healthier babies).
  • The work of MADD helped us, as a society, see drunk driving as unacceptable.
  • Charity: Water, through use of social media and traditional communications outlets, has been able to provide drinking water in developing nations (reached over one million people in 2009).

Each of these organizations started small. Each had (and have) a clear vision of what they want to accomplish.

So, what’s your vision?

On March 28th, I’ll be launching an 8-week program to walk you through setting up a major gifts plan for your small or mid-sized organization. Week two will focus in on helping you develop your vision, mission and organizational plan. Hope to see you there!


What’s Your Vision? — 7 Comments

  1. Kirsten,
    I loved your example of challenging us to look at a 32 year vision. Or maybe it is 20 years, 45 years or 70 years. And, I totally agree that a vision needs to be compelling enough to get your heart racing as well as those you engage!

  2. Thanks Dale! I know of a multi-million dollar company in Central Florida that started with a 50 year business plan. About 30 years in to it and they’re right on track :-).

  3. Great examples and a great reminder. When you only see the short term, things can look hopeless, but a long term vision is super important to see the possibilities – and keep you motivated!