Undoubtedly the most challenging task that nonprofit leaders have, is fundraising. Unrealistic expectations from the board create enormous pressure. Unpredictable external forces influence organizations’ ability to reach financial goals. Leaders often feel stranded and alone.
Carol Dweck, author of Mindset, describes two types of mindset. First, there is the fixed mindset that is risk averse and impedes development. Second is the growth mindset that is motivated and generative.
Let’s consider a mindset of scarcity as a fixed mindset while a mindset of abundance is a growth mindset.
A scarcity mindset is anchored in the past of learned and false assumptions. Maybe a parent was unable to support her family resulting in overwhelming fear. Perhaps tragedy and loss led to hopelessness.
How is does this dynamic play out in fund development? What does a mindset of scarcity look sound like?
- “We better get to that funder before our competition does.”
- “If only our board would lead by example and give and get.”
- “We’re going to have make an exception in receiving the gift from Mr. and Mrs. Jones. Even though it doesn’t fit our mission,” we need the money.
This mindset breeds a sense of being powerless and, in some cases, hopeless or desperate.
How Coaching Helps Leaders to Develop an Abundance Mindset
- Coaching develops self-awareness and the ability to challenge assumptions of what we need and what we have.
- Coaches create a safe and non-judgmental place to begin to make the shift.
- Coaching encourages observation of the evidence of abundance.
- The coach and coachee co-create practices of gratitude.
Feeling scarcity breeds passivity and inertia while a mindset of abundance is active. It is more than a state of mind; it is a practice.
One can be in scarcity or one can live in abundance.
Organizational Awareness and Strategic Visioning
The coach and coachee create of a new map, a new journey. Coaching supports a leader’s ability to develop a personal vision propelled by curiosity, possibility and creativity. From this new perspective, the leader can a build boards and their members to:
- Be aware of individual and collective mindsets.
- Adopt a growth mindset
- Engage in strategic visioning
In this way, boards will secure financial stability and increase the organization’s growth potential.
Change is scary business for many boards. Transitioning takes time and is sometimes a painful process.
A coach is the voice of encouragement helps leaders to initiate a new conversation.
- Instead of: “How are we going to right a sinking ship?” To…“How can we chart uncharted waters?”
- Instead of: “We need to compete with other organizations for the money.” To…“How can we leverage our internal and external resources? How can we collaborate with other organizations who may be serving the same population?”
- Instead of: “We have to take what we can get and risk mission creep.” To…Are we in alignment with our strategic vision?
“How can we become a storytelling culture that creates an organizational vision? How can we go from transactional fundraising to transformational philanthropy?”
How do you practice gratitude? We’d love to hear from you!
Editor: G. Meredith Betz , M.S. Ed.; MSOD