This past week has been one of the most trying for our country. We obviously have a lot of work to do to heal our country and fix our broken systems. But I absolutely believe that 2021 is going to be a much better year. In fact, I believe it holds the opportunity — since 2020 showed us all that needs to be fixed — to begin creating much healthier and more equitable communities and systems.
And I believe that you, dear social change leaders, will lead that charge.
As you know better than anyone, that will take money. Lots and lots of money. Something that nonprofits often struggle to attract.
Let’s face it. The nonprofit sector has a dysfunctional relationship with money. We hate it, we fear it, we despise it, we dismiss it, we long for it, we feel unworthy of it. The list goes on and on.
But that’s going to change for you in 2021. And the way that changes is when you make money your new best friend.
What if instead of struggling against money, you saw it as a true ally? What if you treated money as a long-lost friend that only wants the best for you? What if you showered money with love?
Sounds crazy, right? But making money your new best friend might just be your ticket to all the abundance you need.
So how do you make money your best friend? The same way you make friends with anyone:
Believe You Are Worthy of Money
Any true friendship is based on a sense of equality between the two friends, right? So, to truly befriend money you have to believe that you are equal to it. Often nonprofit leaders think they don’t deserve the amount of money that their work truly requires. This is because we have undervalued social change efforts and social change leaders for far too long. But you can change that. Start believing in your value and the value that your nonprofit creates. Then believe that you are equal to the amount of money that creating that value requires.
Ask For What You Need From Money
But that necessitates knowing how much money you require. Because you have for so long been told you aren’t worthy of money, you have likely never calculated exactly how much money you need to accomplish your goals. This stops now. Once you have created your Theory of Change (as we discussed in my last post) and determined what your nonprofit wants to accomplish, you can then calculate the dollar amount you need (for enough staff, technology, systems, materials, marketing, etc.) to get there. That’s the amount of money you actually need — instead of the much smaller, band-aid amount you likely have been asking for. Once you are clear with money about what you actually need from it, you are on your way to a healthier relationship with it.
Trust Money to Show Up
Any true, lasting friendship is based on a belief that your friend will be there through thick and thin. Friendship is based on trust, but so often in the nonprofit sector leaders distrust money. Your grant proposals might be laced with frustration or fear. Or your fundraising appeals might be unknowingly rooted in a scarcity mindset. What friend wants to show up in a hostile environment? Start to trust that money can be your ally in the work. Then when you make your fundraising asks from that place and that energy, you will be much more successful.
In 2021, let’s rewrite the script. Let’s make this the year when we start turning the corner on how money flows to social change, when we start embracing money as the true social change tool it can be.
There is lots more about how to move to a social change financing approach in my new book, Reinventing Social Change, which is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Porchlight, and BookShop. And make sure you’re subscribed to my email list to be the first to know about webinars, reader’s circles, trainings and other events related to the book. You can join the Social Velocity e-list here.
Photo Credit: Aman Shrivastava