Make future trends work for you

publication date: Oct 13, 2011
author/source: Lisa MacDonald

"It's time to embrace and leverage today's digital technologies to create and launch a new, more flexible innovative organization."  Who wouldn't agree with this statement?  Where do you begin to make this happen within your charity?  Try The Future of Nonprofits by David J. Neff and Randal C. Moss.  These guys get it, and they want to inspire and educate you on how to move effectively into the Digital Age.

Don't crush the moth

Authors Neff and Moss invite you to think of two sets of people.  Those that kill the moths they find in their houses and those that try and get them back outside.  Now, think of the work involved in those two situations.

In the first scenario, you spot the insect, scream/shout, grab the closest object you have and swing with all your force to destroy the intruder. It's a lot of work with no thinking.

While we still scream/shout when something flies up and lands on our legs, in the second scenario we stop, look and identify.  Once we know it's only a moth we know it would be much easier to swat it and keep moving, but instead some people follow the instinct to help.  We try and capture the moth in our hands and escort it outside. It seems like it takes more work, but often it does not.

The same situations hold true for innovation in nonprofits. We are so often caught up in the day-to-day grind of our mission, of managing staff and volunteers and seeking donors that we tend to ignore things that don't fit in our paradigm. When the employee comes to question how we enter data in our Constituent Relationship Management system or why we lack services geared toward young adults in our market, the indifferent managers balk and put off the idea.  This is the moth. It's an ugly and hard to understand idea. "Let's wait on that" or "we will add it to our next agenda" are common put-off responses.

How many amazing, innovative ideas are you not listening to because they look like moths? The Future of Nonprofits is about changing that attitude in your organization.  It's about getting the people, volunteers and structure in place to take amazing ideas and get them where they need to go.

Buy your copy of The Future of Nonprofits today for only $54.  

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