Tom Suddes of the Suddes Group and the For Impact.Org Blog delivered an address on the 3rd Sector and The Economyon October 3rd. Tom has been through 10 periods that have been declared recessions . Tom, similar to Marc Pitman (from my first post in the series) suggests that:
you do the exact opposite of what most 3rd Sector Leaders and Development Staff are doing right now… which is hunkering down, hiding in the office, using “market turmoil” as another fabulous excuse for not getting out and visiting and presenting and asking your best prospects and your champions to continue to invest in what you do.
Tom doesnt suggest to have the answers to what to do, but he has some advice and here is a synopsis:
- Think like an Entrepreneur and follow the entrepreneurs mantra
- Think Big: talk about Vision, Transformation.. Time to stop asking 100 people to fund a $100,000 project, which is 1,000 times harder than finding the 1 person who loves the project and wants to see it happen.
- Build Simple: have a clear, concise, compelling MESSAGE around your Purpose, your Priorities and your Plan
- Act Now: None of us can ‘plan’ on what’s going to happen next few weeks. We need to be acting now… ENGAGED with our best people… presenting opportunities.
- Focus on Your Impact:
This is a simple point, Impact Drives Income. Suddes believes that regardless of what is happening in the stock markets the needs dont change, people are homeless, people are sick, there is still abuse etc..
As we all know some of these people are going to be the most impacted by the downturn, If you believe in what you do, there’s no place and no reason to hide.
- Trust your message
If you have a clear, concise and compelling MESSAGE, then you are no longer a not-for-profit or a charity. You’re a For Impact Organization. You can make a business-like presentation, you can talk about investment and return-on-investment and you can talk about your solutions and your impact. Suddes gives the great example of the government (usa) bail out, they presented that message really badly by calling it a bail out and not a rescue plan or investment opportunity.
- Get Back to Fundamentals
This is the fundamental of getting out and ENGAGING with your best investors and best prospects. And the fundamental of fundamentals of ASKING.
- 3 Challenges…that can help
- Embrace this opportunity, Change the way you Think, Change the way you Operate and Change the way you Fund.
- Dont make decisions for your best prospects, dont decide that this isnt a good time to talk to them, let them let you know.
- Position for the Future: You need to be thinking about the future, talking about your vision, presenting opportunities to scale and grow your impact.
The article has a comment at the end which I think is great:
After listening to you I met the next Monday with a gentleman who has never given more than $300 and who owns a local shopping mall – not a hot commodity right now. He has committed to a $10,000 donation and is thinking about an additional $5,000. We’ll know the final amount next week.
You motivated me to continue to set up meetings with people and EXPECT donations.