If you know me, you’ll know that I believe in data – knowledge applied effectively. You must have noticed how, in the press, on air – any place that we discuss who we are and what we do – we all resort to collective descriptions of “the sector” or “the community”. The problem with this reference is that, while we are one community, we are all unique. And that’s a challenge to communicate.
There is no one size fits all, and yet every mechanism we have to communicate what we do pushes us in that direction—the Form 990, the Canadian Form T3010, an op-ed or annual report— it’s too complex to explain simply in a limited number of words.
We can’t afford to duck the issues of our time: fundraising costs, ethics, donor control, privacy. We are in times of great stress for us and for the communities we support.
But there’s no better time to learn the skills we need to communicate who we are, what we do and what it takes to keep the show on the road. And we can’t afford to be quiet either. There’s too much at stake, and we have to make our voice heard to have any impact.
In the words of Rahm Emanuel, “Don’t waste a crisis.”