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Vision is the Engine of Philanthropy

Vision is perhaps the most powerful asset we have in appealing to donors. If your vision reflects a forward-moving, solutions-based approach, your cause can be supported and sustained.

Nonprofit leaders and professional staff are responsible for creating, communicating and facilitating a strong vision for everyone associated with the organization to rally around and strive to achieve.

Here are tips for fostering an inspiring vision:

  • Keep the vision people-focused.

  • Your vision should reflect a relentless pursuit of helping to improve the lives of others. A commitment to executing the stated vision is perhaps as important as the vision itself. This drive keeps the vision alive, thriving and sustainable.

  • Foster a culture of philanthropy.

  • A clear and thoughtful vision of where we want to go on behalf of, and along with, our constituents, and ongoing evidence of meaningful progress toward this goal, will foster a philanthropic culture in the organization.

  • Set a high bar and measure performance.

  • Finally, philanthropy is the responsibility of everyone in the organization - as is working toward the vision with the knowledge that sustained support will occur if we hold up best practices and performance across the enterprise.

When philanthropy is cultivated, appreciated and understood it will fuel the initiation and continuation of the critical support required to carry out the vision.

Dave Smith, Senior Executive Vice President, dsmith@hartsook.com

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