As an organizational leader, you are a superhero. You likely step up, step in, and lean in! You take actions and build systems and structures that help deliver your mission.
Maybe you’ve heard of the concept of a Culture of Philanthropy and you’d love to make it a reality in your organization! You’ve been trying to have fundraising success for years and are ready to make a culture change!
Consider this: Mindset is an often overlooked asset which could help you achieve breakthrough results in your organization. Actions and structures by themselves have limitations against the unseen enemy, the culture of scarcity.
Your mindset is your superpower.
Peter Drucker says that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. What does this mean? Since Peter mentions ‘strategy’ let’s start with a strategic plan.
- Does your organization have a strategic plan sitting on the shelf? If so, it might be that you set up perfect systems and actions, but it still didn’t fly. Why is this? Often, it is because there is no buy in for culture change. Buy in to make the resources available to do it right, or buy in to include your goals as a priority at board meetings.
- Has your organization hired a development director who is supposed to handle all fundraising because everyone believes that fundraising is ‘a necessary evil’ or money is bad? It shouldn’t surprise you that it didn’t work out with that person if they get little or no support from members of the team, and if they don’t have tools like a relational database.
Can you relate to either of these?
THE TOOLS NEEDED FOR CULTURE CHANGE
Robert Gass from the Social Transformation Project says that to make culture change you have to work in three domains simultaneously: Behaviors (actions or tactics), Structures (systems, policies and procedures), and Hearts & Minds (the mindset, thoughts, opinions, attitudes).
The Hearts & Minds is the most overlooked asset for a highly functional organization – or, by contrast, it’s the culprit of a highly dysfunctional one. I invite you to consider that we have a culture of scarcity, driven and inspired initially by capitalism, which gives us at least 7000 messages a day designed to convince us that we are not enough (not smart enough, rich enough, fit enough), and that we don’t have enough….money, fancy things, love, sleep, exercise, etc.
Consider that this scarcity mindset is getting in the way of us… of you, fulfilling your desired mission. That might seem like a giant leap. But, since you are a Superhero, you are used to that. 🙂
Imagine this: you go to your colleagues with a new idea…. They say, We’ve tried that before… or….We could NEVER… (fill in the blank…) Let’s admit it: it’s pretty difficult to create culture change and come from a place of inspiration if you’ve been listening to ‘radio scarcity’ all day!! It’s quite possible that your team members feel defeated by the culture of scarcity and that they might not feel full of possibility.
If you are committed to a culture change and have in mind building a Culture of Philanthropy, it’s critical that you first step back and examine your current culture. Why? Because we are so steeped in the mindset of scarcity, that we can’t see it. This is the nature of culture; it’s best seen from the outside. Take for example that we think ‘other people’ have an accent, we don’t have one! We can only see things from our perspective.
Be a Scarcity Detective and invite some peers to join you. Each of you should listen for scarcity language and jot down each incident you hear. Remember to check yourself, as well. You may say things out loud or hear them in your head. Either way, these thoughts drive your actions and the results you achieve.
Next, have a conversation with your peers… How does what we say become our reality? What conversations need to stop? To start? Or where are we right on the mark? How can we create a culture change?