Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Now is the Time to Think Prosperity, Not Scarcity

Does your nonprofit hold a scarcity perspective – a fear that resources are limited and you won’t be able to sustain your work? Rather than throwing up your hands and crying ‘the sky is falling, woe is us’ during this current economic downturn, my colleagues Steve and Chutisa Bowman of Conscious Governance out of Australia argue there is a need to adopt an attitude of prosperity. Their belief is that there are plenty of opportunities through which nonprofits can thrive and that this is a perfect time to switch gears, think strategically and figure out where to focus energies to bring in needed resources to meet the requirements of one’s constituents.

It is true that in previous downturns only one or two sectors were floundering at a time. If it was real estate, we could turn to our donors in finance or manufacturing. With so many sectors in freefall right now – all around the world – it may seem like there are no avenues to which to turn. But, we cannot afford to take that position or to crawl into a fetal position and wish the world would stop spinning around us. Literally, the survival of our communities rests heavily on the shoulders of nonprofits. The philosophy of looking at the world through a lens of prosperity has never been more important.

Now is the time to do something even if that something turns out to be wrong. We can learn from mistakes, whereas there is no growth in merely maintaining the status quo. We must believe that there are solutions. Believing is the first step in creating a new reality. As Walt Disney said, “If you dream it, you can do it.” Use the intelligence and creativity represented on your boards to dream, to generate options and strategies, and ultimately to develop stronger communities.

You can hear more about the effects of thinking ‘prosperity’ versus ‘scarcity’ by listening to a short audio podcast. Visit http://www.corestrategies4nonprofits.com/audio_podcasts.html, scroll down to “12. How Boards Buy Into The Scarcity Paradigm. What You Can Do About It” and click on Listen Now.

Terrie Temkin, Ph.D.
Founding Principal
CoreStrategies for Nonprofits, Inc.
888-458-4351 Ext. 83

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