Saturday, October 20, 2007

GIVING: DONATION OR INVESTMENT? YOU DECIDE

Last week, in MISSION WITHOUT I.T. IS LIKE A DAY WITHOUT SUNSHINE I set out to write  ROI, but before I'd finished my first paragraph, I had revealed my own flawed organizational paradigm.

Allan Benamer contributed a critically important comment:

IT is actually responsible for all the other departments you mentioned (accounting, marketing, etc.) in the best nonprofits?

You really can't do accounting, marketing or fundraising without IT. ...you could try but you'd have a heck of a hard time scaling. Think of IT as an umbrella that keeps all the other departments from getting wet. In the best nonprofits, it should be integrated into every department and not be a standalone.

The only way to effectively address complaints about ineffective organization? Offer a solution. How about this: replace our world of the three overlapping sets: communications/ operations/accounting--with a new world---mission/community/investment.

The catches? If your giving is an investment not a donation, it presupposes that you’ll have a return on your investment (probably more than just the satisfaction it gives you); and that you’ll expect accountability (not just delivery of services).


So, let's shift that paradigm, but brace yourself for the shockwave.



credits: the idea above does not originate with me, I heard some of this in a talk, but I can't find the reference. Anybody know the source? Organizational theory? Drop me a line.

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