“For many, the goal is to be the deciding vote, the donation that gets a cause over the goal, the person who counts.”

  • Excerpt from “The lonely zone” blog post
  • Seth Godin, author, teacher, philanthropist

When I read one of Seth’s recent blog posts, I got to thinking about where this shows up in the nonprofit sector. In many ways, it’s all around us.

If people start bidding on silent auction items at a gala, others become more interested. It MUST be good if others are interested. Forget those items with no bids.

When a board vote is divided and the final holdout casts the deciding vote, they wield the greatest power. Politically and relationally, they get to size up the situation to decide which team they want to be on. Often it becomes more about influence and prestige than the actual issue at hand.

When someone is looking for their next job, do they go for the tried and true organization—the larger and more popular choice? Or do they seek out the scrappy start-up nonprofit where they can craft and shape the future even though this entails more risk and tireless work?

While there is no inherently “right” or “wrong” path in most of these situations, there is certainly a path less traveled.   

When was the last time you…

  • Financially invested in a newer nonprofit?
  • Spread the word about a lesser known cause you were intrigued by?
  • Were the first to raise your hand to volunteer for a new program?

We all had to start somewhere, and sometimes the smallest act of faith in the beginning can make all of the difference for the person who decided to take a leap, the person who feels the tension of uncertainty and does it anyway. 

Remember that individual who believed in you to take the first step and be that person for someone or something else.

Hat tip to you,

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