And now the rest of the story . . .

forest through the treesWelcome to O.D. Fridays at DonorDreams blog. Every Friday for the foreseeable future we will be looking more closely at a recent post from John Greco’s blog called “johnponders ~ about life at work, mostly” and applying his organizational development messages to the non-profit community.

In a post titled “Crushed!” John conveys a really funny story about an older lady and her balding fat dentist who was a fellow classmate with her back in the day. John uses this story to make one really awesome point which is “There are always, without fail, two perspectives — ours, and the rest of the world’s.

After reading John’s post three different times, a number of thoughts flooded into my mind:

  • I heard Paul Harvey’s voice echoing in my head saying: “. . . and now, the rest of the story.”
  • I conjured up the old expression: “You can’t see the forest through the trees.”
  • I thought back on a number of one-on-one interviews I did with donors throughout 2012 for a variety of clients.

When conducting those donor interviews, there were a number of times I caught myself thinking: “I wonder if the non-profit organization knows that this donor holds that particular opinion of them?

As I’ve said throughout 2012, there are a number of ways for you to step back and gain a better perspective of how donors perceive your non-profit organization and the work they are funding (or may not be funding for very much longer):

  • Surveys (either online surveys or paper surveys)
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • A casual stewardship visit over a cup of coffee or lunch

Circling back to the funny story that John shared in his post, I will end my very last blog post of the year with these questions: 1) Do donors think your agency is big, fat, balding, wrinkled and ugly? 2) Do you really know if they are thinking that? 3) What are you doing (or plan to do in 2013) to hear “the rest of the story”?

Happy New Year. The next DonorDreams blog post will be January 2nd.

Thanks for your readership and your dedication to your non-profit organization’s clients.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847

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