Blue sky thinking..

Since I spend most of my time at work and when I’m home a fair amount of my time thinking about work I thought I’d post about work.

A representative of our little fundraising team of 3 has been summoned to the next meeting of our Board of Trustees. We’ve been asked to present some “blue sky thinking” on how things will run over the next 5 years or so. I guess our chairman hasn’t read the IAB survey telling us not to use this phrase because, let’s be honest here, it’s a bit wanky!

Now we all know the future for non-profits lies in community building – we know this because it’s always been about relationships, certainly at our level it has – the people that support us year on year do so because we work to keep that relationship alive. If they make a donation we write and thank them, if they put on a benefit for us we try and do as much as we can to help it run smoothly. At the moment we can just about keep up with this, we can just about provide enough interaction with those individuals and groups that we work with regularly to keep them interested. However, as we continue to grow how can we possibly keep this up?

Fortunately for us there’s a hero out there. The human web wearing its underpants over its trousers, cape flying and bandana pulled down low! The human web has come to save us, the human web has come to help us help ourselves – we just need to make that initial leap and as fundraisers we don’t just want to jump we want to fly…….

…..but all we can do is bungee until we can make everyone else as enthusiastic as we are, until then that elastic just keeps bouncing us back. We have to persuade not only our management team and our Board of Trustees, but all our colleagues as well that telling people about the work we do and things we achieve is everyone’s job and that with the help of the human web it doesn’t have to be a chore. We have to persuade them all that with the help of social media we can build and maintain a relationship with many more than the select few supporters we work with regularly at the moment, and that this relationship can be meaningful and mutually beneficial.

I now spend a lot of time thinking about how we go about this and thanks to OsCharity I’m discovering some answers. I’m reading blogs which I never did before, I’m writing one which I never did before, I’m tweeting, I’m facebooking and I’m tumbling…and while I do it all I’m learning. I’m learning that it helps to take things a step at a time, first I need to understand the process before I can sell it to someone else. I’m taking baby steps, I’m concentrating on one thing at a time and slowly planting seeds for the next step.

So far our official website has improved leaps and bounds – its updated regularly which is a good start. We have a Facebook fan page which with a little work will be ready to welcome our supporters and give them a place they can communicate with us and each other. Next its blogging and an easy introduction through Tumblr – the only thing that we lack is time!

This is our “blue sky” – we know that it’s where we need to go, we just need our board to get out their scissors and snip that elastic.

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