Recommended New Year’s Resolution: Apply TG without reason

It’s January 8. The flimsiest of our New Year’s resolutions have succumbed to reality. At the YMCA where I work out, the New Year’s resolution-swollen crowds are already beginning to thin (faster than the individuals themselves, interestingly).

It’s time for New Year’s Resolutions That We Really, Really Need To Do.

My recommendation at the top of the list for you, dear nonprofit leader?

This year, embrace Transformational Giving as your development strategy with reckless abandon.

I’m indebted to Seth Godin for the persuasive logic here (and Seoul USA‘s Amy Karjala for the link):

Often, someone will riff on a concept or approach that characterizes the revolution that we’re living through online, and heads will nod. “Sure, that sounds great [insert idea here… like Free, or social media or permission or ideaviruses or empowered consumers or treating people with respect, etc.] within reason.”
It’s the last two words that make it a lie.
The last two words allow you to weasel your way into failure. Within reason means, “without bothering the boss, without taking a big risk, without taking the blame if we fail, without alienating our current retailers… be reasonable!”
And so you do it half-heartedly and you fail.
And who beats you?
The people who did it without reason.

Look. Here’s the score (from Ben Gose’s December 10 Chronicle of Philanthropy article):

  • 93% of charity leaders say their organizations are feeling the effects of the economic downturn
  • 80% have lost financial support
  • 40% of charity leaders say their group’s financial situation has worsened over the past six months.
  • More than 40% say their groups have laid of staff

Do you really think this calls for a tweak?

A dabble?

A bit of an admixture of traditional transactional fundraising and Transformational Giving?

You’ve officially found yourself alive in a year where continuing to abide by the “safe” status quo presents more danger to your organization than to cast yourself into the river of radical change.

(P.S. Have a cookie. By the time you’re done with it, everything will be right as rain.)

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is also the International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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