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Henny-penny and the Economy
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Henny-penny and the Economy

By David Condon, Chairman & CEO – Diversified Nonprofit Services

There are those in today’s world who would have us believe that the sky is falling. The economy is in disarray, and it is easy for the media and others to create a picture of doom and gloom. And, like Henney-penny and her friends, if we allow this barrage of negativity to become the driving force in our lives it will create a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure.

The need to focus on those who need you, and the impact that your organization provides, not only avoids this self-fulfilling prophecy of failure but it plants seeds of hope in the hearts of those you serve and gives them a reason to feel positive.

All of you will remember the childhood story of Henny-penny and her ability to convince her friends that the sky was falling. Henny-penny was so adamant in delivering this message that all her friends did in fact think that the sky was falling and life as they knew it would be destroyed. And they were right, life as they knew it soon was destroyed. Not by the fact that the sky fell but because, in their zeal to spread the word, they trusted Foxy-woxy who used the circumstances of their fear to victimize them and provide himself with a nice meal.

By focusing on the people you serve you will avoid the self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. The hope that you give to your supporters, volunteers, staff and clients will help them combat the negative feelings that arise from the constant stream of bad news.

This is the antithesis of Henny-penny’s message.

As a nonprofit organization, your work load, the need for your programs and services, and the positive impact you can have in the communities you serve do not cease to exist or be diminished because the economy is bad. In fact, the reality is that the need for what you do only increases in a down economy when more people are forced to find help and services from the nonprofit sector.

You can make a conscious choice to embrace today’s challenges and meet them head-on or you can let fear of what might be paralyze you, your volunteers, and those who might have supported you. You can focus on the increased need for your programs and services or you can prepare yourself to be Foxy-woxy’s next meal. It’s your choice! Join the herd of those who fear tomorrow or grasp the opportunity that exists today to distinguish your organization from the rest and attack the problems of today knowing that tomorrow is another day.

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