by Anne Desrosiers
Startup leaders of young organizations often believe that their nonprofit will be financially viable from the beginning. The seemingly small feats of progress that signal your organization becoming an operation (you know those external markers of “growth” like an office, staff, and following) are smoke signals that are usually off in a distant-feeling field of dreams, once reality sets in.
How do nonprofit start-up entrepreneurs maintain morale in climates such as this? Truth be told, the terrain alone eliminates many a would-be founder or executive director. It is easy to get burned out after realizing how difficult it is for organizations with the potential to be great – get bogged down by the volume of obstacles in recognition, support, and funding. Thus, the issue remains for those who are committed to their causes: How do I keep going? And secondly: Why should I keep going?
Movement with a purpose = How
Nonprofit start-ups require visionaries who can connect the dots where no one else is able to see connections. Movement (and action) is required to establish the points of connection that will be required to gain traction. The following questions should always be on your mind as you move in various circles in an effort to advance your cause:
I have found that energy and passion are felt and appreciated by those in places of interest to your cause. A personal opinion on any of these said places (good or bad) is magnetic and can propel your organization forward if undertaken with transparency.
Sharing = How and Why
Most opportunities aka "the connection of dots" can only be made by sharing information and opinions about who you are and what you are attempting to do. The more people know about your efforts and the hurdles you are facing, the more they can support in ways that reflect their own goals and yours. The knowledge of what can be gained by others in supporting your endeavors is important to recognize as your movement picks up speed, in addition to acknowledging the culture you wish to establish in your work.
The more awareness surrounding the obstacles – the more attention we can get on the practices that hinder us industry-wide. Sharing is not limited to only the good things, it is simply a way to constantly put yourself and your work out there to attract the like minds you will need to press on with your purpose.