Have you ever wondered how some charities stay afloat? I had a converstaion with a friend the other day who sits on a board of a (human service) charity and we traded stories of how hard it has been this past couple of years to raise money; how challenging it has become (let's go ahead and say it) after the recession, to guide an often reduced staff towards sustainability. The money has dried up, the funding has stopped, grant writing is tougher.
Human Services charities; where PEOPLE are on the recieving end of the benifift and charter. These charities provide networks of direct services to PEOPLE in need. They feed our hungry, strengthen our communities, shelter our homeless, care for our elderly, and nurture our young.
Animal charities; defend and provide needed services to DOMESTIC AND WILD ANIMALS. These organizations preserve wildlife habitats and protect endangered species, and seek ways to sustain and promote those habitats and species over time.
Of course, these are certainly not the only two categories worth mentioning, don't forget Art and Culture, Education, Environment, Health, International Issues, Religion...categorically speaking, there are a lot of causes with their hands out, seeking to reach into the pockets of anyone with a soft heart or to help create a connection to the organization. That is what our charities do to keep afloat.
I do admire anyone working to Guide/Manage/Develop/Advance any charity, especially the animal charities, any non-profit struggling to balance the money coming in with the money going out. It just takes just a few conversations with those in the "business of non-profit" to understand the challenges and the mindset that one needs to have to navigate the development function. It is simply amazing how some of these charities have sustained themselves (since the start of the recession), its the entrepreneurial success stories that I am most intrigued with. The reasons why some are making it and others struggle. It's about the people who put themselves out there.
So how do they do it? These charities, especially those who have been around for awhile. How do they make it happen?
How about Randy Grim?-of Stray Rescue of St. Louis? His name pops up in my wife's checkbook quite a bit and frankly, his name is a household name among the groups of people I hang with. Randy has been around for a while, and has done and amazing job of getting his good work out into the limelight. http://strayrescue.org/node/204. Check out the website and look to see what he has done with his personal brand. Buy any one of the three books that were either written by him or written by somebody else about him. His authentic connection to being "him" and his mission to help stray animals resonates in every word written about him. He is as authentic as they come.
On his page he characterizes himself in relationship to the rest of the world and in perspective with the world around him. I find this most interesting and admire his authenticity, hiding nothing, just doing good work and making a difference in this world.
......I suffer from social anxiety. I have some phobias. I am gay. I am a shy, private kind of guy - by no means a hero. I have been thrust into the dog limelight from a previous book about my work. It forces me to try to be more outgoing and confident. You know, exude that Rambo-type of confidence....
Keep up the good work Randy, you can count on our support. Being authentic is what matters the most, being able to do the good work you do, while not subscribing to social or political shirt-tailing is just the ticket; what makes you great. You can count on our support ifyouknowhatimtalkinbout..