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Need Some Inspiration in Challenging Times?

Ann and I attended and presented at the Nonprofit Learning Lab conference in Denver yesterday. It was inspiring to meet so many talented people working on issues that have wide and deep impact on the health of our planet and the future of our communities.

You might expect such a gathering to be buzzing with worry about the challenges the nonprofit sector faces. You might expect to hear all about the fears around the tax code, the changes in health care, and the widening gap of inequity in our country. But yesterday, I didn’t hear one person talk about fear. Everyone was looking to the future.

What’s next in fundraising technology? How can we get more millennials on nonprofit boards? What unexplored revenue streams can we tap to diversify revenue?

Nonprofit staff and volunteers have to be some of the most optimistic people on earth. In the face of pressing challenges to supply of philanthropic dollars and community needs, the work moves forward. We didn’t observe gloom and doom. We observed people putting their heads together in conversation to learn from each other and to do more for the people they serve – even if it might be more with less.

I observed no one throwing up of hands. In fact, in every session we heard about action plans, ways forwards, and concrete next steps. We heard people trying to start new initiatives, working to save threatened programs, and searching for ways to do things differently.

Even though you may not have been at this particular gathering, I hope you are feeling determined and undaunted. I hope you are having conversations with others about your dreams and plans. I hope that you have a conference or training on your calendar so that you, too, can feel the courage and support of your peers.

And if you need a boost – write us! We want the pages of this blog to be a place where you can get inspiration. Let us know what you’d like to talk about and we will start a conversation. We so appreciate what you do.



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