Lashed to the Deck

Print Share on LinkedIn More

Most of you know I take a ferry to and from work. The boat you get depends upon the time you go home and last night I caught the one that every year sets up a Christmas tree on the deck—fully lit. Yesterday, of course, headed towards late December, there was plenty of weather in Boston. It was darkly and erratically blustery and wet in the middle of the harbor. I watched that tree jerk and shift all the way home like it was about to go “man overboard” but it was lashed to the deck so it stayed put, shining its lights into the night.

The idea of being lashed to the deck resonated with me. We have been doing a lot of listening lately to nonprofit leaders who are thinking about what they have to do to continue to serve their constituencies over the unpredictable course immediately ahead.

Many nonprofits are still waiting for the last shoe to drop—and this particular creature seems to have many feet. We are watching the context for our future roll out—too much of it the result of unfettered greed — or as one commentator said this morning, the result of corporations treating people like prey. Nonprofits should be a big part of a collective voice for change to that particular scenario, but to do that we need to stay on deck.

The Nonprofit Quarterly is in the same boat. We intend to stay on deck with you as fully and gaudily lit as possible. Our lights are your stories and knowledge and vision for the future.

So we’d like to ask each of you to nominate your organization to be one of a handful that the Nonprofit Quarterly follows over this coming period. It doesn’t matter what size you are or what field you’re in or what shape you are in, let us know if you are interested in being one of our ongoing sagas. We want to stay with you as you make your way through this storm. What will happen with your constituency? What will happen with your funders? What decisions will they make? Will more volunteers emerge to help? Will you drop or re-organize programs? Will you begin to collaborate in a different way?

Sharing strategy through talking story, as they would say in Hawaii, will be a part of what we will do with you, our treasured readers over the coming year. We want you to share your heroic stories as well as the knocks, bumps, and downright failures. This is the way we learn from each other.

Some of it will be done on the website and some in our pages. In this way, we will wrestle the latest in management thinking to the ground as we all face this revolutionary new era. Make your organization a part of how we all understand our collective potential with new eyes. If you’re ready to share, we’d love to hear from you. Write to us and let us know how your organization is facing this storm.