Like people, nonprofits have personalities. They’re complex amalgams of an organization’s history, mission and leadership. People rarely have any idea how they come across to the rest of the world, and nonprofits are often the same. And yet, as with people, how your nonprofit comes across to the rest of the world plays a huge role in whether and to what extent you achieve your goals.
So, have you ever stopped to consider what your nonprofit’s personality is? Not what you think it is. And not what the small group of people who nurtured you and love you unconditionally think it is (e.g. your mom, or your organization’s founder).
No, I’m talking about how everyday acquaintances, friends, and new people you meet see you. If you haven’t yet considered your own nonprofit’s personality type, you should. And don’t cut yourself any slack …
… Are you a Pessimist or Optimist?
… Are you a Talker or Listener?
… Are you a Sad Sack or Got-it-Together type?
… Are you a Holiday Carder or Year-Round Friend?
… Are you an Air Kisser or Hugger?
… Are you a “Me-Me-Me” Bore or a “You-You-You” Friend?
Obviously, your organization is way too complex for labels. But is it realistic enough to know that it is being labeled constantly by donors and prospects nevertheless? And is it self-aware enough to know what those labels may be?
Just like it is with people, changing how you look on the outside usually begins with a good long look on the inside.