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Mindset for Nonprofit Success and avoid Starvation

Mindset, we don’t talk about this enough when running nonprofits. Most of the time we talk about fundraising, grants, and program development. But do we need to know about mindset? Is it important?


You should also improve your mindset the way you improve your fundraising activities because mindset by definition is your collection of thoughts and beliefs that shape your thought habits. And your thought habits affect how you think, what you feel, and what you do.

Are you familiar with the Scarcity Mindset that fuels the starvation cycle of nonprofits?

“Scarcity thinking is incredibly pervasive in the nonprofit sector. And it makes sense that it would be. Nonprofit leaders have been told for so long that they must scrape by, are not worthy of real investment, and deserve only the leftovers. No wonder the belief that resources are scarce is baked into their DNA.

This scarcity thinking is the starvation cycle in which nonprofit leaders often exist – we can’t attract enough money so we skimp on staff and systems, becoming less effective, forcing us to serve fewer clients, resulting in less social change. It is a vicious downward cycle.” - social velocity

If you remain in a scarcity mindset you’ll keep holding back your Nonprofit in issuing the social impact it needs to do.

Here are 3 growth mindset shifts you can do to stop the starvation cycle in your nonprofit:

#1 Stop thinking money is an extremely scarce resource

Instead, figure out how much money you need to accomplish your goals. Plan the future path for your organization and all the resources you need from staff to technology to cash. And use your strategic blueprint to engage advocates and donors.

#2 Don’t skimp in your fundraising

I know you are hesitant and unwilling to take the risk of investing in your fundraiser, staff, software, and time because of the lack of funds. But without making needed changes and investing in improvements on how you raise funds, you will never raise more funds. So think about what you need to upgrade your fundraising infrastructure, how much you need, and then convince some of your close donors to provide the capacity capital necessary to get you there. Keep in mind, the right improvements to your fundraising infrastructure will pay for themselves (many times over) after 12-18 months, so it is really just a short-term investment you need to take your financial model to the next level.

#3 Stop being super busy to get the other work done

If you find yourself with too many tasks and not enough time to get it all done it only means you need to get help. We are very used to wearing many hats in our organization and that resources are scarce. We forgot that we don’t need to do it all alone. You can ask for help whether it's hiring new staff, getting contractors, or volunteers. If you are an executive director you should be focused on leading and being the visionary in your organization not being a receptionist.

Use these for a more abundant mindset.


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