Posted by: Don Linnen | 25 February 2009

Give It Up

So what can nonprofits give up for Lent?

Give something up?? Are you kidding me? We’re just barely making it as it is!

Hear me out. This blog has been brewing for days. Hope it’s not too late. It is Ash Wednesday night.

In trying times, in a highly competitive landscape, it may be a good idea to do something counterintuitive. Unless you’re on a really good roll, maybe a little change isn’t a bad idea. Here are a few things you might consider changing for the next 40 days:

1) Give up meetings. Do you really need to have a staff meeting each week? A conference call every Monday? A board meeting every two months? You can still talk to these people if you really need to. A break in scheduled meetings will be a very refreshing change for people having trouble sleeping because of stress.

2) Give up editing every grant your grant writer puts in front of you. If you trust the person writing proposals, give them the responsibility to get it right and get it done. You’ll get an extra few hours every week that you spend “improving” proposals. And you’ll probably get more proposals submitted in 40 days than you have in the last 60 days.

3) Give up watching the news about how bad the economy is. At least give it up after 12pm so you can sleep better at night. Maybe the extra 15 minutes will give you more time to focus on your mission.

4) Give up an hour a week you spend on your assigned job and spend it with one of your constituents – client or donor. You’ll be amazed at what you learn – and you’ll probably do your job better.

5) Give up staying tuned to your regular source of news and information all day long. If you look for a new source every day for 40 days, chances are you’ll find at least two or three keepers. Not a bad addition for a rapidly changing world.

That’s it for for now. There have got to be more things we can give up. Stay tuned.


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