You Didn’t Build That

Unless you find yourself under a rock, you have heard this said a lot lately throughout the political dialogue.  One side saying, “Yes that’s what I said, and here’s why…”  The other side saying, “I can’t believe he said that…”  I am not going to get into the political debate, nor am I making any type of political statement masked as something else.


What I am saying is we must be careful to not take credit for what we simply benefit from.  As nonprofits that are reliant upon the generosity of our donors, we must communicate from the standpoint of gratitude.  As staff members we often fall into the trap of telling our story from the stand point we built something.  Of course staff members play an important part of an organization, but without the generosity of your donors you would have nothing to manage.

So how do we keep from falling into the trap of tooting our own horn and not the horn of our donors?

#1 – Have an attitude of gratitude – How often to you say thank you to your donors?  What about your volunteers?  With a spirit of gratitude imbedded in our core, we are less likely to forget who it was that enabled us to fulfill our mission.  We must keep the focus on those whose shoulders we stand, not forget about their contribution as we are changing the communities in which we serve.

#2 – Donor/Volunteer Highlights – Does your organization have a Facebook page?  What about an e-newsletter?  Have you ever thought about highlighting your donors or volunteers?  This is a simple and very effective way of keeping the focus on who built you organization.  I heard of one nonprofit changing their profile picture on Facebook to different volunteers throughout the year.  What a great idea and one which can be implemented very easily.

FEEDBACK: What are you doing to recognize donors and volunteers?  Please leave your comment below.


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