A recent article emerged that discussed former president George W. Bush’s 100K price tag for delivering the keynote at an event for a homeless shelter. The actual headline read:
“George W. Bush Reportedly Charged $100k to Speak at Homeless Shelter Fundraiser.”
The visceral reaction is to be appalled at the high price tag and write it off as an out of touch 1%er who guilelessly (or nefariously) takes from the poor to increase his own wealth. But what you do not gather from this headline is that this homeless shelter netted over $1 million from that event. You rarely get that kind of return from the stock market! But it is the initial reaction that represents the mindset that keeps so many non-profit organizations in a perpetual poverty mentality, hoping and praying the philanthropic rain will come. I’ve been in meetings with many non-profit executives over the years and their frustrations are almost always the same: a lack of resources, talent, and funding. Non-profit doesn’t mean “no money.” It simply means the business model isn’t driven by shareholder profits.
If you want to become a thriving organization whether for-profit or not-for-profit, you must first change your mindset. Take the above headline for example. How would you react if the headline read:
“Homeless Shelter Pays George W. Bush $100k to Speak at Their Fundraiser.”
Headline #1 presents the organization as victims, whereas headline #2 presents the organization as empowered. Organizations that are doing well inspire others to action.
Real growth requires long-term thinking, calculated risk, and wise investment. But the first and most important step is to evaluate our beliefs about ourselves and the future of our organizations. Is my organization worthy of a great investment?
Start by listening to yourself in conversation and the way you present your organization / cause / or vision. If you’re not excited about what you and your organization are trying to accomplish, then why should anyone else be?
J.P Nichols & Associates Inc. 2015. All Rights Reserved.