Nothing surprises us anymore.

We’ve seen a lot of things in organizations large and small from many parts of the world in the years we have been doing this work and, because of this, we have stories to tell that would amuse, shock, and amaze you.

Recently, someone asked me: “Of all the things you’ve seen Richard, what one thing sticks out more than anything else?” 

Here’s what it is:

Things get too complex.

By “things,” I mean: 

Organization structure, job descriptions, workflow, processes, and how we view fundraising. Everything about structure, systems, and process. It all gets too complex. And here’s what happens: the main thing a non-profit is created to address gets lost along with the main funder of that main thing – the donor. These two things disappear into a maze of bureaucratic and political fog that is mostly constructed by the personal preferences of those in charge, versus a logical approach to the work that needs to be done.

Here is what I mean.

  1. Stop for a moment. Think about the foundational purpose of your organization. What is the societal problem or situation you are addressing? Say it out loud. Pretty simple, isn’t it?
  2. Now, think about what the next “thing” is that you need to secure to get #1 above done. It’s resources. Money and talent (paid and volunteer).

Now, Jeff and I believe that the following two items are the most important things to get done in the organization:

  1. Develop and manage program to address the societal problem.
  2. Secure resources to get the program done.

Do program.

Secure resources to do program.

That’s it.

Everything else falls into a supportive role such as Operations, I.T, H.R., Finance, Public Relations, Marketing, Communications, etc. That is to say, all of it.

Think about this. How can you reevaluate what you’re doing and get back to the basics? We can help you get there if you want. Let us know. But it is important in 2024 to get back to simple and effective.