What’s Hard Work?

What’s Hard Work?

“It’s a lot of hard work.”

Really? Is it hard? Or is that how you see everything?

It comes down to doing what matters. You focus on what is important. That’s the difference between those who win and those who struggle.

Every day, the need changes. You might have the best intentions for the day and it all gets disrupted and away it goes

– A supporter wants to tell you about this amazing new fundraising idea
– A staff submitted a critical proposal to a funder two days past deadline
– A Board member emails their resignation because they disagree with a recent hire
– Your admin person called in sick

A typical day. The secret to surviving all this is what you focus on.

The Really Hard Work in Your Nonprofit

  This                                                                                   … or This

 A bright, welcoming lobby

Answering the phone on 2nd ring with a smile

Board manual with perfect tabs & documents

Executing on policy embedded in the mission

Keeping fundraising costs low (like 12%)

Taking a risk and investing money in the mission

 Adhering to the standards of safety & risk management

Teaching kids to canoe who aren’t certified swimmers

 Having templates for everything

Writing what people want to read

 Constructing a Donor Recognition wall

Saying thank you every time a donor gives

Hire short-term staff on contract

Invest in staff who are competent and capable

Getting Certified

Keeping your promises

Holding staff accountable for policies to a T

Trusting staff to use good judgment

Recruiting Board members who are “well connected”

Connecting with your Board members often to get their point of view on issues

No financial stability and struggling to meet payroll.

Board and staff partnership, cash reserves,  strong cash flow, no debt

A single, unpredictable funding stream

Diverse and sophisticated fundraising streams with high returns

Having a nice office

Having kind and caring staff

It comes down to what gets your attention where you spend your time, and how you focus on what matters. The rest of it? Ignore it. Do the hard work on the right things.