I Won’t Support My Grandma’s Nonprofit

chapincoleheadshot13smallGuest blogger, Chapin Cole is a proud Millennial who works in nonprofit development in the California Bay Area. She blogs on getting successful (yet stress-free) as a nonprofit staffer.

Lately, there’s been attention on the idea that nonprofit organizations should take more risks. There’s a stigma against risk in the sector because of a myriad of reasons, including discouragement from funders, the stereotype that nonprofits don’t have sophisticated operations, and the important services that are at stake.
As a Millennial, I just want to say, wake up! I’m not going to pay attention to you if you’re not doing anything innovative.

Big problems will not be solved by maintaining the status quo. Inventions, movements, and ideas come by having a vision for a better world and thinking creatively about how to get there. Nothing new is achieved by doing the same thing over and over.

As a Millennial, I’m not interested in you repeating what’s worked in the past. While I appreciate working smart, I don’t appreciate doing the same thing over and over when everything else around you changes. I don’t appreciate wasted resources and time spent on what worked before for the sake of maintaining. I’m interested in you having that vision and doing something new to get there.

The only way I will support you is if I feel you are the expert on the issue you are working on. And experts don’t just do what the person before them did. They bring their fresh perspective to the table, and they make change. Through innovation.

So how do you prove you’re an innovator? If you don’t have the capacity to demonstrate your innovation in programs, innovate in your fundraising, marketing, operations… anything. This proves to me that you can think outside the box about solving problems, too, which is why I will support you.

What are some ways that you have seen nonprofits prove their willingness to innovate? Did that make you more or less inclined to support them? Please share  your ideas here.

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Guest Blogger in Audience Research | 8 comments
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