Change and Perspective for Non-Profits
Many times while working in non-profits and ministries, we find that some that interact with the organization have a view that runs counter to what is actually happening. This viewpoint can be conceived through discussions with others or life long perceptions. It’s human nature to sometime use a personal perspective to create such an opinion, but it is important that all realize that personal perceptions are not necessarily accurate when it comes to the facts.
Volunteers that engage periodically with an organization have a passion to serve. This passion is driven by the need to help others and use the skills that God has given them to help the less fortunate. They want to help, but they sometimes also forget to see the big picture and lose a perspective that is so important to the success of the overall organizational goals. It’s not a surprise. How can someone working in a warehouse have full knowledge of how a team is doing its work half a world away? The same can be said about someone that has been working for years with an organization but only is involved for a week or two, once a year.
The truth is time evolves, and the challenges of operating an organization are many. The various issues also change over time and the organization must react immediately to these changes to ensure that they never lose focus on serving the less fortunate. This is where organizations that have been lead by long serving leadership sometimes get off track. You cannot do things the same way forever, if you do, you most likely will lose the ability to optimize all the resources you have been provided and the impact on those you serve lessens over time.
The biggest challenge of all is to make the changes necessary to deal with these issues. Some times you need to take a few steps back so that the organization can move forward. This is not for the faint of heart and you must also be prepared for the ever present “we have always done it this way!” syndrome that is sure to come. There is also going to be the ever present personnel that have been with the organization so long, how can we ask them to move on? The truth is, if the organization is focused on doing what is in the best interest of the ministry, these are the very people that would want it to be successful in the future. If that means stepping aside, then so be it.
Unfortunately, the very compassion that causes people to engage with an organization can be the cause of it to potentially fail. An organization must never lose its central focus and never tie its future to individuals, but to serving the cause of the organization. It can never be about me, it must always be about them. That’s a tough thing for some, especially if they have been around for a long time.
Let me know your thoughts and check out all that we are working on with Medical Ministry International.