“Mind the gap” echoed through the colorfully tiled RATP Metro as I stepped from the platform to the train on a journey from Paris to Geneva. My focus briefly diverted from the excitement and joy of the journey to the necessary caution ahead of me. Each time the train door opened, the same voice reminded me to mind the gap in several languages. I recall glancing at the gap at my first stop, being amused as passengers stepped over it at the second, and growing deaf to it by the third, as my focus shifted to the exciting journey ahead of me…
As you invite donors on your missional journey are you drawing their attention to the minding the gap or to the destination?
Minding gaps in finances, services or access must be recognized, but taking a journey together is more rewarding than simply bridging a gap. All of us long to make a difference and feel a sense a responsibility to invest in causes that align with and pursue our vision for a preferred future. While a giver will, from time to time, respond to an immediate need, there is more joy in investing in ways that grow impact and move us all a little closer to a tomorrow-reality that’s better than today’s.
Growing missional imagination and engagement, requires a shifting of perspective from organizational needs towards the givers hopes and dreams. To shift the focus, we must inform, inspire and invite others to join in the journey with us.
- Inform by communicating a clear and compelling vision for the preferred future and creating a well-developed plan to get there.
- Inspire by finding places of intersection between a giver’s hopes and dreams and your organization’s mission and vision.
- Invite others to join you in investing the resources available to them in pursuit of your aligned and shared vision.
… On each stop of my trip from Paris, our conductor announced our progress towards Geneva and heightened our expectations and interest in the destination.
Those that join you on your missional journey have become stakeholders in the vision and will require progress reports too. Generous givers will want to know how their gifts are helping to realize the vision and move us all closer to the destination. And a few snap-shots along the way are always appreciated!
Keep in mind that It’s never about the money or the gaps and always about the impact and the destination.
Written by Laura DeVries
Laura brings two decades of nonprofit management, helping organizations create cultures of generosity that propel them to achieve their mission. With a focus on coaching non-profits, NGOs and churches, she provides strategic insight and guidance to faith-focused organizations who are living out their unique vision and mission.