As I noted in yesterday’s post, Dimitri’s and my decision to immediately begin running Creating the Future full time means we need to start fundraising, and fast! (Truth is we probably needed to start fundraising months ago, but starting now will just have to do…)
And so, given that it’s the end of the year, it seems only logical to do a year-end appeal. Which means asking for your wisdom on a) whether it’s a good idea to do that appeal, and b) what to emphasize if we do.
Transparency and Engagement
Asking these questions goes far deeper than just learning from the immense wisdom among our readers. It is about engaging discussion about the thing we all seem to fear most: money.
Given our vow to transparently engage the world in Creating the Future’s decisions, it feels like there is no more important place to prove that is possible than with our fundraising efforts. Fundraising is where most organizations feel they must close ranks, keeping stuff under wraps, being as competitive as possible.
As we develop our programs and consider fundraising to support those programs, we find ourselves repeatedly asking, “What if that is simply not true? What if openly engaging in fundraising decisions actually builds a stronger organization – not just raising more money, but providing critical information we might not otherwise have (or might only find out the hard way…)?”
And so this post will be a first step in that endeavor. As we focus on fundraising throughout 2011, we will be back to ask deeper questions about both our plans for finding start-up funding and our plan for ongoing operating funds.
Helping Us Figure Out Just This Campaign
For now, we have 2 questions we hope you will help us figure out.
- This seems obvious to us, but that makes us wonder if there is something we’re missing: Is there any reason NOT to do a Year-End appeal?
- Stemming from that first question, If we do the appeal, what should we emphasize in that appeal?
We know what we feel was valuable this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is what others feel was valuable. And what better group to ask than those who participated in the work we did this year!?
We have already asked the brilliant minds who have graduated from our immersion courses. Here is just some of what they told us:
- The Immersion Course was so life changing, several people took it twice – and found even more value the 2nd time!
- Supportive community of peers, coaching each other and thinking things through together.
- #NPCons chat – a surprise to one individual who marveled at the impact of that chat!
- Watching Clients Create Change – and FAST!
- Dimitri and my modeling what is possible – at the blog, among our graduate community, and just by doing the work of Creating the Future!
Now it’s your turn.
• As you look over the list of what we accomplished for the sector this year, what parts of that work made the biggest difference for you? And what was that difference?
• What parts of the work we are doing is the most exciting to you? What parts do you think we should celebrate?
• What should we emphasize as we head out to raise funds?
And is there any reason at all not to do a year-end appeal? What do you think?
Photo Info: Choose Your Mood (Chinese masks at Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City)