I know that everyone has been going through a tough time. For some, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. For others, the future is less bright. Many Social Impact organisations are struggling right now. Finances are squeezed, governments are hostile, stakeholders need higher levels of support… But hope is not lost.
I learned through working with organisations deeply affected by the pandemic that just because your organisation might be financially sound, doesn’t mean that it has the ability to respond to the new pressures and priorities being thrown up by Covid-19. While those organisations that are more cash strapped can sometimes actually be better at responding quickly to the needs of their stakeholders.
Let me be clear: I am not advocating that all Social Impact organisations should be starved of cash!
But we can learn from organisations that have had to become more nimble and agile. If you ever wonder how resource-starved organisations can continue, you need to look at the close alignment between their mission and their activities. When there is no room for manoeuvre most organisations instinctively focus of the essential work that moves the mission forward. It is that alignment and focus that all organisations should be recreating for themselves right now.
I am already on record as telling clients not to focus on the money, rather the mission as the money will sort itself out. This can sound like an astounding thing to say. But stop and think about who gets funded and who gets supported: organisations that are clear about their mission, work towards it and are relevant to their stakeholders. For Social Impact organisations money isn’t the end point it can be for for-profit organisations. It is simply an enabler. Keeping the finances in perspective helps to manage the crisis.
So as we all go through tough times for the Social Impact sector, don’t lose sight of your mission and focus more on the core activities that really matter. The money will take care of itself, eventually.