I received this question via email this morning, and it made me smile. First, the message:
In today’s world, is an annual report of the traditional kind important for nonprofits? Smaller as well as larger? We are debating how much money and staff time to put into some kind of publication – we haven’t done a paper newsletter in a couple of years, and typically do a monthly enews that’s got a very different purpose and focus – the paper one is stories and pictures that really give a feel for the big picture; the enews is more “here’s what’s happening this month that you can do.” Our annual report has been very traditional – pretty pictures, stories and the financials and donors. Curious what people you talk to think gives you the most bang for the buck/time/effort!
My response was simple – don’t ask me, ask them!
Which brings me to the two reasons I smiled so wide when I got this note. First, last night we sent out Creating the Future’s monthly e-newsletter. This month’s newsletter is dedicated entirely to Community Engagement, to celebrate the 5 Year anniversary of FriendRaising. It appears Jenny was penning her note to me at almost the exact moment we were sending her the answer!
The second reason has to do with the way we have been building Creating the Future – making all our decisions by engaging transparently with everyone who might be affected by those decisions. There have been several reasons for our doing things that way, one of which is simply to model what that might look like if you were to engage more transparently in your own work.
So let’s turn the blog into a mini-classroom right here, right now.
Off the top of your head, share with us a decision you are wrestling with.
If you work at an organization, perhaps it’s a discussion you’ve been having around the office, trying to decide on an approach to some problem or opportunity. Perhaps it’s a strategic direction for the organization, or an item you’ve been bumping from meeting to meeting on your board’s agenda.
For consultants, it could be a new direction for your consulting practice, or a book you’re thinking about writing.
For anyone at all, it could be something in your personal life.
Share at least one of those decisions right here in the comments.
Let’s all brainstorm together how engaging others in your decision-making might enhance your decision AND your work overall. And let’s come up with a list of people you might engage.
Let’s start breaking down those walls of transparency right here now!