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We believe that we all need each other. We say it all the time. Related to this, we also caution against those who beat their chests and proclaim they did it all. When you peel back the layers you can quickly see all the people who have supported – and continue to support – each of our so-called “self-made” miracle workers. We truly believe in asking for assistance, otherwise known as help. When you’re not sure of the road ahead of you, ask those you trust for their opinion. Ask them to share their experience. Listen closely. Ask clarifying questions. Be sure you say, “Thank you.” And then chart your own path.

At the end of the day, you are the only person who can gauge what you believe will be right for the organization you lead. You know the complexity of the situations you are grappling with. You know the people and their personalities. You know the community you are working within. But you don’t know it all. That is why you ask others for help, guidance, and suggestions. Their experience – and the questions they ask of you – can help illuminate the road in front of you. But they can’t tell you what to do. Even when they do, you can’t know whether or not their answer is right. You are the final decision-maker.

This may sound crazy given that we are always offering advice and suggestions as it relates to fundraising and fund development. We share our insights and experiences to help inform how you will make decisions. We don’t know the specifics of your situation, but we do know that others are constantly sharing their wisdom and learned experiences with us. We listen hard, and then, at the end of the day, we have to decide how we will chart our course. We expect no less from you.

When you reach out to others you may just learn that people have conflicting or divergent views on how you “should” proceed. Listen to their guidance and then sit with the information and determine for yourself what to do with their suggestions. You may have a “eureka!” moment where you realize the person you were talking to has the answer! You feel good and you move forward. You may also feel like the person doesn’t understand the context you are working within. You may resonate with some of the suggestions made but feel that you can’t implement everything they are recommending. Another person you talk with may sound “off base” to you, confirming the value of your insights.

You will need to create your own path forward for your nonprofit. We believe your way will be easier if you reach out for help and then evaluate the wisdom that is being shared with you. Remember, you can combine aspects of different suggestions. The more you make decisions the more confident you will become in your decision-making process. Don’t take our advice, try it yourself!

Copyright 2024 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you plan for 2024! Video and phone conferencing services are always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727.

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