It’s 2018. As I write this, we are three weeks into the New Year. Only 47 days until Daylight Savings Time, and only 56 days until the first day of Spring. So what’s the status of your New Year’s resolutions? How many have you kept and how many have been broken?
The treadmills in the fitness centers are burning up. The smoke cessation and diet clinics are going non-stop. And what’s happening with you? Did you make ANY formalized resolutions for 2018? Resolutions impacting you personally, your business, your family, your health? Did you share those resolutions with anyone and were they asked to help you keep them?
Let me issue a different type of challenge for your 2018 resolutions. Instead of talking about your “for profit” business goals, objectives and resolutions for 2018, let’s talk about some resolutions that you should be making about your involvement in the “nonprofit” sector.
Raise your hand. That’s right! Don’t sit on your hands. Join nonprofit boards as a volunteer — and VOLUNTEER. What does that mean? Don’t shun responsibilities and duties that you should be doing as a board member. Nonprofit board members MUST always be “doers”. When you start leaning towards delegation, delegate to yourself first. So be “doer” and get involved.
Raise communication awareness in the community. “Open the box” and start thinking of unique ways that will generation POSITIVE communication throughout the community. How can you market the organization(s) on which you serve? How can you leverage contacts throughout the community and be able to make a difference in the community where you live. Start inviting yourself to community events and talk about your organization and how it benefits those around you.
Try a fresh coat of paint. You do it around your house — a fresh coat of paint or wallpapering seems to breathe new life into your home. Do the same for your organization. Look at your logo, your brand, and your marketing language. Determine if your organization’s image needs a fresh coat of paint to create a brand new, and vibrant, organization to the community.
Friend (member) raise. Light a fire under yourself and other board members and begin reaching out to friends, neighbors, and associates. Tell them great stories and vignettes about the incredible accomplishments of your organization and the impact it has made on the community. Remember the axiom: “Friend raising comes before fund raising.”
Raise the bar. Set higher goals for yourself and those organizations you wish to support — initiatives that require going that “extra mile”. The community you serve needs your willingness to tough it out and set the standards higher — they need your 100% effort. And your stature within the community will only grow as you volunteer and get the all-important name recognition.
Sow the seeds of nonprofit board recruitment. Recruit and groom new talent on the board on which you serve. That means looking towards the “X” and “Y” generations so they can become the future leaders on your board and great community spokespersons.
Say “thank you”. Two little words are two HUGE words. Get in the habit of saying “thank you” to board members, staff members, volunteers, contributors, friends, and more. “Thank you” is one of the greatest ice-breakers, which leads right into friend-raising and easier fund raising.
There still remains a lot of time — 49 weeks — in the New Year to make a difference in the nonprofit sector. And remember, what goes around, comes around. Helping others in the nonprofit sector will only benefit you and your business in the long run. AND, you’ll feel so much better because you made a difference in the community in which you live and work.