When I was writing my book, Shift and Reset, I wanted to shake people up a little bit. I didn't want to just encourage you or point you in the right direction when looking for solutions, but I wanted to make you feel uncomfortable and look at things in different ways than we're used to. I want to shift your thinking, press the reset button and start over with the way you communicate.
If you're like most nonprofits, you're doing all the things you've always done to build your organization like building email lists and fundraising. But we can't do the same things the way we've always done, because what we are doing isn't working anymore!
The things we expect and ask for, the way we communicate and engage - it's all changing. Millions of dollars are being raised for causes, but the problems continue and the number of people affected is going up. The old ways of thinking and old ways of operating aren't getting the results we want because everything is changing.
- Phones change everything. People are mobile now. We've been un-tethered. Our expectations of how we communicate have changed. We are now truly socialized and can respond in real time.
- iPads change everything. Now you can have your entire information experience in your hand.
- Facebook changes everything. Our perception of brands and issues is formed by those social interactions.
- HBO Go changes everything. Like with Tivo and Hulu, you don't have to be present to do something. You can get what you want on the terms that you set.
- Nike Changes everything. They raised the standard for YouTube content with their Write the Future campaign. People expect more from content now.
- Real life changes everything. Events like 9/11 affect the way we look at the world and engage with others.
Information moves faster. We're more connected. We know we have better choices and more options, so our expectations are higher. The connections we make to the issues and events that shape our world are being transformed.
Everything must change. We cannot operate knowing that things are changing but also knowing that we aren't making a difference.
You must change the way you think. Re-imagine how you operate. The passion we know people have must be re-focused and re-directed. The ways we measure success must be re-assessed. The ways we promote big ideas must be re-envisioned.
Stop giving gifts (and stop asking for them too). Stop focusing on dollars. Nonprofits need to know how to harness and convert technology, media, and community into long-term sustainable support. We have plenty of tools, cash, and attention. What we don't have are real solutions to the challenges that our society is facing, and deep, system-wide understanding among the organizations.
Stop creating new organizations. There are way too many nonprofit organizations. But organizations don't solve problems. People do. The more organizations we create the more we siphon people away and divide resources.
Stop (over) Using Social Media. It's not about the tools. It's about being social. Help people communicate with each other and tackle problems and work for solutions. They have potential as tools to engage and mobilize differently, but they are just tools. Don't waste the time you should be spending being social trying to figure out how to use all these tools.
Stop creating case studies (or listening to them). When we are looking at ways to solve problems, we shouldn't look at what someone else is done and emulate it.
If we can think differently - others around us will begin to also and that's when we will see the change we want. Don't settle for what you've always been doing knowing it's not working like it used to. Shift and reset.
For more insight on how we can change the way we think, please watch the recording from this webinar.
If you have questions or would like to make a comment about this subject, please join the conversation at The Network for Good Online Community.
Adapted by Kristina Leroux