Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Fourth, Six, Remarkable and Amazing

For the Fourth, an article in the Washington Post about music and context. That came up recently when discussing programming for our orchestras. If we are doing a themed concert--American music, for instance--must we include music from the standard classical repertoire to, I guess, validate our educational premise? Nick's thoughtful conclusion was that, yes, probably at first, we do. His solution is characteristically unique and I'll leave it to him to reveal.

Nora Ephron describes the Six Stages of E-mail. Funny. True.

Jeff Brooks lays out some goals that MYO should aspire to, although his emphasis is on donors. I'd rather emphasize kids, although Peter Drucker says for a nonprofit they are tied together. We'll certainly need everyone's help to pull it off. And believe me, we're serious about pulling it off. So be remarkable and amazing: roll up your sleeves and get involved.
"The best fundraising in the world can’t beat simply being an authentically remarkable organization. And what’s remarkable?

* If what you do doesn’t make people say “wow!” you aren’t remarkable.
* If there aren’t outstanding heart and head reasons for folks to give to you, you aren’t remarkable.
* If you’re just like other organizations, you aren’t remarkable. (And if only an insider can understand the difference between you and someone else, then you aren’t different.)"

"To meet this challenge, what you say matters less than what you do. You need to create a superior reality, not just superior marketing. And that can only happen when the entire organization — from the board on down — is in complete alignment with the goal of being remarkable.

* It’s everyone’s job to create and run programs that not only accomplish your mission, but also make sense to donors and fill them with a sense of connection and purpose.

* It’s everyone’s job to articulate the mission in a way that donors, prospective donors and third parties (like the press) can understand and love.

* It’s everyone’s job to take part in the conversation that’s forming around your cause — through blogs, wikis and other online (and offline) communities."

"When everyone is pulling in the same direction, you’re on your way to being remarkable. To finish the race, you need to accomplish one or more of the following:

* Do something nobody else does.
* Be demonstrably more effective than other organizations.
* Leverage donors’ giving in amazing ways."

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