Fundraising Season (Sep 03)

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It’s September, and all across the country, no matter what else we are doing, most of us are thinking about money — how to raise it and, if we can’t, when and how to cut back on expenses and work smarter.

Getting started on fall fundraising kind of feels like facing the hurricane season — and the winter blizzards beyond. We’re in a long, bad weather pattern. Many people I know are shoring up the
weak spots in their organizations to guard against the worst possibilities, and hoping that the dire predictions are just filler on the airwaves.

Talking about natural disasters, most of you probably know that in places where there are a lot of earthquakes, flexibility is built into structures to help them conform to upheavals in the environment. I feel like I’m seeing that metaphor play out all around me as I watch really good nonprofit managers reorganize their work.

I have felt some serious shifts in my own sphere as organizations that I have known for years begin to act differently in very significant ways. People are looking at partnerships differently and re-examining how they do their work.

This isn’t new to you.

What is interesting are the solutions that various people are coming to as they reorganize their work. They are awesome illustrations of the essence of the sector — its creativity, resilience and passion.

I would like to use this newsletter to ask for your stories. What is at risk in your community and what have emerged as new possibilities? What is your organization doing differently to adapt to a changed environment? Have you found opportunity in crisis? Are you thinking differently and acting differently on your environment?

We have attached a quickie survey tool for you to use. Please take the time to share your stories and observations with us so that we can share them with others — we will, of course, ask permission first.

As always, I wish you much grace and ferociousness in your efforts. It’s a winning combination that so many of our readers have in abundance.