March 1, 2013

I hope you’ve read Jim Collins Good to Great for the Social Sector. It’s so good. And if you’ve read this monograph or his book, Good to Great, you know that Jim asks several questions of corporations – and that includes nonprofits, of course:

1. What are you deeply passionate about?

2. What can you be best in the world at?

3. What drives your resource engine?

Most often, nonprofits probably talk about their resource engine as: charitable contributions and, perhaps, some revenue (e.g., ticket sales, course fees, whatever).

Back in 2009, I presented at the AFP Great Lakes Regional Conference in Rochester, NY. One workshop used Collins’ work. The presenter asked “what drives your resource engine?”

And workshop participants responded: Good relationships. Reputation for excellence. Making an emotional connection with people. Donor-centered operations. Great customer service.

Wow! Yay yay yay! Thank you colleagues there in Rochester. What drives your resource engine? Not charitable giving – but rather: good relationships; reputation for excellence; donor centrism and customer centrism; making an emotional connection with people.

How smart you are! Thank you for reminding us all.

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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