Everything I Didn’t Know About Running a Non-Profit, Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to reflect on all the work that The RNV has accomplished and all the work yet to be done.  A couple of things I’ve noticed remain absolutely the same; there is still a huge learning curve and much work ahead to make The RNV a successful nonprofit and you still have to really be passionate about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. 

Yesterday, I had a chance to share a lot of things that I didn’t realize I had learned from being part of The RNV with a friend whom I recently reconnected with thanks to Facebook.  My friend Katie Foley is starting a nonprofit organization called Sustainable Stability which will provide permanent housing/work solution for individuals with bipolar illness in a supportive, structured, and therapeutic farm environment.   This is something near and dear to the hearts of many of us at The RNV and is a desperately needed resource for so many.  I sent her a message the other day just to encourage her and see if there was anything we could do to help.

She took me up on the offer and right away, the ideas started flowing and we were sharing lots of the ideas and suggestions that we had been given or things we had to figure out and struggle through.  Some of which, weren’t very useful for us, but based on what Sustainable is doing, they are great ideas.  The irony is that so many of those things that until pressed, we didn’t even know we knew them.  Awesome being able to share and help build up a most definately worthy cause.  If you want to help Sustainable or just share the love and encourage them, check out the Sustainable Stability Group Page on Facebook or you can follow Katie on Twitter.

I’ve also taken a lot of time to think about what else needs to be done besides just all the technical/business/marketing things.  Who are we and what do we want to accomplish?  One of the most important things that we’ve come up with is to revisit and recommit to our values.  Is what we are doing and sharing and saying authentic to what we believe?  Do we represent God’s love in our every day dealings? 

Humility has to be a big part of our authenticity.  Sure we’re still humans and we’re ambitious and of course want to be known as having made a difference, but its bigger than I’s and me’s.  Like most people its easy to become wrapped up in an “iCentric” culture.  Really, our whole individual perception is built around your personal perception and perspective of the universe around you, so it’s completely natural to think in terms of “I”.  But this is not how we want The RNV to be.  We want to replace the I’s with us’ and me’s with we’s.  Even though it likely does not come naturally at first because that’s not how we individually see the world, the more effort you put into replacing those words, the more you actually feel the words.

Personally, I’m fortunate for my Marine Corps background where the individual I’s are essential, but are made subordinate to the Corps and to mission accomplishment.  Each individual brings with them a unique perspective and skills and when they’re importance is recognized, they’re anxious to subjugate their individual ego for the good of the whole and to accomplish their mission.

Are you ready to join the fight? How can we build a partnership with you? Let us know what we can do together!

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