Your Guide: Conquering the Development Mountain as a Nonprofit

Thank you to everyone who has been following along with me in this series about conquering the development mountain ‒ and a great big welcome to those of you who are just joining me on the journey!

In past issues, I’ve shared how you can position yourself as a champion in your community, explored what it takes to have the heart of a champion and encouraged you to overcome your fears.

Today, I’d like to talk with you about an elusive yet critical component of success: inspiration.

If you want to be an organization that helps change attitudes, influences lives and makes an impact, YOU MUST BE AN INSPIRATION!

It is incredibly important in development to inspire others to be champions for you.

Why? Well for one, you simply can’t be everywhere for everyone.

Think about it…

  • There are 168 hours in a 24/7 week… and you work (on average) 40 of those hours!
  • There are tens of thousands of individuals in your community.
  • There are thousands of churches, businesses and schools.

Plus, your organization is always in need of more name recognition, more gifts in-kind, more financial donations, more prayer support and more volunteers. You need to find friends in your community who want to get engaged with you. You want partners who will stand alongside you. You want people who will champion your cause!

When you build relationships in your community with individuals, churches, organizations, businesses, foundations and the media, they take ownership in your ministry. They begin to climb with you and bring others along for the climb as well.

Community champions become your BASE:

Brand Advocates. They know you, they carry the banner for you and they even defend you in times of trouble. As I consider the social issues we face all around us today, I believe ministries need defenders more than ever. Do you have enough Brand Advocates in your corner, cheering you on no matter what?

Supporters. People don’t support what you do, they support why you do it! So share your “WHY” clearly and frequently. Move their hearts to action with stories of changed lives that they made possible. Your donors will give financially, but they will also see your need for gifts in-kind, prayer, volunteers and, most importantly, lifetime partnerships. Do your Supporters consider this just a temporary relationship or are they true-blue partners for life?

Evangelists. The key to generating evangelists is to lead by example and show people how to join your mission. You need to identify champions you can empower to evangelize for your cause, who will then go on to educate others in their communities. Once they understand and believe in your ministry, they will promote your organization, share your vision with others, endorse your work and reach out to their own circles of influence. Do you have Evangelists who are just as passionate about your ministry and spreading the word about your mission as you are?

Don’t let obstacles stand in the way of your climb.

Have you given much thought to what keeps people from getting involved with your nonprofit? Is it laziness… ignorance… selfishness?

If you want the community to support your work, ask yourself what potential barriers might be holding them back. Is your website user friendly and easy to navigate? Do you have clear, concise key messages you promote in every communication? Have you outlined simple and diverse calls to action?

If you’re concerned about how you answered any of these questions ‒ or if you have more questions of your own ‒ Brewer Direct can help.

Though the opportunities in development are endless, we can help you break them down in a more simplified, strategic plan that is just right for you. So tighten up your laces and let’s continue the climb together!

Brewer Academy – led by Shellie Speer – offers personalized guidance, training and mentorship on issues like development and key messaging. And that help is just an email away!

Email Shellie now.

  • Shellie Speer

    Shellie Speer-Burnett, Senior Vice President, BDI Academy

    With over 30 years of partnership in Rescue Missions and nonprofit organizations, Shellie Speer-Burnett brings her expertise, counsel and philanthropic-centered passion to assist in furthering the work of BDI’s Rescue Mission clients. For 22 years of her career, she served as the Founder and President/CEO of her own agency, ENEX Group, which helped her clients capture hearts and donor loyalty in their communities.

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