Nell Edgington shared an interesting perspective on how to get Boards better engaged and working more effectively in her blog at Social Velocity. The premise was around five questions to ask the Board which made them think about what they were doing to actively support the charity.
I agree with her suggestions but want to add some more as I believe we need to be a bit more specific with our Board members and try to align their thinking with what it feels like everyday to try and deliver the strategies they come up with.
In that small special mini-sink in between the kitchen sink and the draining board in our kitchen lives a simple chrome cutlery drainer. You know the sort, all silvery with partitions in it to help your knives and forks stay upright and drain properly. Nothing flash, just functional and in-keeping with the rest of the sink furniture.
But it's getting rusty.
It wasn't expensive but nor was it bargain-basement, discount-shop cheap. It's also less than 18 months old. I don't suppose it has the world's greatest chrome plating but as a mid-price product I doubt it has the world's worst either.
But it's getting rusty.
A product that is intended from the outset to spend much of it's working life getting wet and holding implements that go into people's mouths and that should have therefore been made to be fit for purpose is getting rusty.
Yes this is a blog about Cancer Research UK’s re-brand... but it’s not a typical analysis. Others have done this already and there’s not much I can add to what’s already been shared (a quick Google search will show you what I mean).
Instead I want to focus on the absence of outrage which I find hugely interesting. Previous high profile charity rebranding exercises have come under criticism from the sector and donors alike as being at best a vanity exercise and at worst a waste of donors’ funds.
In his blog this week Jeff Brooks talks about three self-destructive courses of action not-for-profit organisations are following in a flawed attempt to survive the current tough economic climate. He cites three main behaviours suggested by fundraising consultant Michael Rosen:
Do Not Have a Compelling Case for Support.
Ignore Current Supporters.
Given our experience of the last three years, I’d add a few more linked behaviours guaranteed to make it tougher for not for profits and charities to survive an economic downturn:
This week I’ve seen several blogs and tweets from people whose thinking I respect touching on the subject of putting your audience at the centre of your actions. Some have suggested that the audience should always be the driving force and others have posited that true innovation might not be possible if you do.