By: Kevin Bingham – President, Diversified Nonprofit Services
Many of you who follow sports may have heard of Blackie Sherrod. Blackie wrote a daily column for the Dallas Morning News. The column held the same title for years, Scattershooting. Now many may argue that Blackie never held a thought for more than a couple of minutes. The reason behind this thought is that Blackie’s columns seldom, if ever, focused on one item or issue. I prefer to believe that Blackie just had so many relevant thoughts; he needed to get them to the masses.
Hence, I begin my effort to Scattershoot the third sector and the issues facing nonprofits.
It’s The Economy, Stupid
As you can all understand, this economic uncertainty has put almost everyone on edge. I can remember my grandfather talking to me about the Great Depression and the run on the banks. Even then, my grandfather, may he continue to rest in peace, told me that what caused the depression was one simple word, panic.
While we all ponder the effects of a double-dip recession, I believe that those who are going to survive must persist. This means the nonprofit sector must re-double efforts to clearly articulate mission and vision, while assuring that public trust is not diminished. Times like these require leaders to stand up and lead. My fear is that we may have forgotten how to lead coming off of the Feel Good times of 1990 to 2006. Things were much easier then, weren’t they?
As we continue to make our way through these times, we must not lose sight of the fact that many potential funders really want to make a gift, for the right reasons. While so many donors make gifts based on their financial portfolio, there is a realm of people out there who will and want to make charitable contributions. As stated above, those nonprofits who can clearly articulate their mission and maintain public trust will be the big winners.
The Perfect Nonprofit
My business partner Dave Condon and I have published a book entitled, The Perfect Nonprofit. Now before you start throwing darts, please know that we know there is no perfect nonprofit. I do however believe, that nonprofits dedicated to providing high quality and impactful services to their clients, are out there striving to get better each and every day.
In my 24 years of experience in the nonprofit field, I have never come across a tool, application or process that will help the local nonprofit move toward excellence in their field. We believe we have developed that in The Perfect Nonprofit.
Why do I bring this up? Is it an effort in behalf of my company to make money? The answer is, no not really. This book, the assessment, and the follow-up component we have created has been developed out of a need in the nonprofit sector. Funny thing is, I am not sure how many nonprofit leaders really want to take their organization down the road to organizational excellence. As we have driven and flown this nation talking to people about this Perfect Nonprofit strategy, many really like it and feel it is needed in many circles.
What we are learning about our model is that if we can get it in front of nonprofit leadership, they grasp it and want to engage in the process. Anyway, if you want to learn more about this organizational development tool, go to our website at https://www.dnsassociates.com/
I have recently talked with several foundation officers across the country, allowing me to come to the following conclusion. Organizations are not applying to foundations for funding. Now that may seem a bit odd to many of you, but two of these foundation officers stated to me, that requests for funding were down. I wanted to share that thought with you. I do not know the reason for the decline in applications. I will leave that up to you to determine.
I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Scattershooting, Blackie Sherrod style. Maybe next time I will have a complete thought. Until then, persist and stay above the fray!!!