Have you ever wondered: “Is anyone else struggling with this? Am I the only one that is having this problem? If only I could talk with someone else who has the same issue!”
Some of the challenges nonprofits face are very unique, and will take some very creative thinking to solve. However, many of those challenges can be solved much more effectively by learning how a similar nonprofit handled the exact same issue!
One definition of creativity says to “find someone else’s great idea and then steal it!” Author and TV host Shannon Skinner takes a similar stance on so-called “idea stealing.”
In my years of experience as a direct fundraiser, I know what it’s like to feel you are in a silo – thinking that the problems you are facing must be unique. The fact is, many others are struggling with the same issue you are trying to solve.
So, I have idea – the idea didn’t originate with me; I stole if from someone else! – it might be helpful to reach out to other organizations to find out what they are doing to solve those problems. You’ll likely find that many organizations are facing the exact same troubles you are, and their solution might inspire you to identify the best course of action!
Maybe it’s your CRM, your board, your volunteers (or lack thereof), your outreach efforts. If the recent Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) data is any indication, maybe donor retention is the issue you struggle with. Whatever the case, don’t be afraid to reach out to your fellow nonprofit sector colleagues for help, advice and guidance!