Leadership, Philanthropy, Vision

Nobody Cares

Wayne Elsey, CEO of Soles4Souls posted a mildly provocative blog today entitled “5 Reasons No One Cares About Your Nonprofit“. It’s worth the couple minutes it will take to read. His 5 reasons are: and my corresponding thoughts 1. I can’t find you online. Wayne urges not only web presence; but current, regularly updated web presence. It’s not enough to have a basic website if you want to reach donors under the age of 40.You need to make time and find ways to engage, not just broadcast. 2. I don’t understand what you do. The Board and senior staff team have to develop, own, and propagate the Values, Vision, and Mission of your organization and revisit them continually. There’s nothing wrong with changing focus, but it has to be recognised and done with intent. 3. It’s difficult to get more information. A good point here, but one I rarely see as a problem in the organizations I interact with. Usually when there is issue here I think it is rooted in the two above. 4. It’s impossible for me to get involved beyond giving you money. Absolutely true! While financial shortages are a real and pressing need for many charities, the best organizations also truly value contributions of time, energy, insight, and social capital. 5. I never hear from you except with what you want me to give to you. It’s about relationship. With access to a nearly endless supply of giving options in almost every area of interest I’m going to engage with the one that treats me like a person and a partner, not just a giving unit. I’ve seen all of these in at least a few organizations, some are quite common. There are still nonprofits that don’t understand that donors have options. Hearing leaders grumble about the public not being supportive of their cause or organization baffles me. It is the role of the charity to get their message out and to engage and provide meaning and value to donors.