Presentation on theme: "CULTIVATING GRATITUDE AND IMPATIENCE Nancy Long Executive Director 501 Commons."— Presentation transcript:
CULTIVATING GRATITUDE AND IMPATIENCE Nancy Long Executive Director 501 Commons
WHY WE SERVE Most people want to: Commit to a meaningful purpose Choose (or have a say) in how that purpose is fulfilled Making sure we are performing competently, and Make progress to achieving the purpose
GRATITUDE IN THE NONPROFIT CONTEXT The Culture of Scarcity Challenging business model Nonprofit Starvation Cycle Misleading reporting & overhead phobia Unrealistic expectations Pressure to conform
THE SCIENCE OF GRATITUDE Studies have found that gratitude is good for our bodies. When we are feeling grateful: Lower blood pressure Less pain Take better care of ourselves Sleep better Count your blessings not sheep!
RESULTS OF THE PRACTICE OF GRATITUDE Individuals Healthier, stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure; More joy, optimism, and happiness; Acting with more generosity and compassion; Feeling less isolated. Recover faster from negative experiences See the positive or good in others Increased self-worth as you notice people who are supportive of you. Organizations Staff are happier, stay longer Organization finds ways to stretch and do more when needs arise Leaders are known for their support of others, willingness to help, advise or mentor others Organization has stronger relationships Organization sees and takes action on opportunities. Greater resilience ***
BUILDING A CULTURE OF GRATITUDE INTO YOUR BOARD Why Grateful people Get along well with others, Accomplish more Are more giving and more forgiving Are resilience to trauma How Thank board members for their work Show planned and impromptu gratitude to staff Write thank you notes or make thank you calls to donors Reach out to donors and discover what about your organizations mission speaks to them and why In each board meeting ask people to share something they are grateful for
LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE WITH DONORS Studies show that the number one reason nonprofits lose donors is due to donors feeling unappreciated. Treat donors as partners Talk about impact and organizational ambition not lack or needs You aren’t simply asking your donors for money. Similarly, you aren’t thanking your donors for money. You are giving them to opportunity to have a sense of purpose
WHAT DONORS WANT Commit to a meaningful purpose Choose (or have a say) in how that purpose is fulfilled Making sure we are performing competently, and Make progress to achieving the purpose
HELPING YOUR ORGANIZATION MAKE GRATITUDE A HABIT Why An organization with a culture of gratitude will: See and act on opportunities others will miss. Accomplish more Attract and hold on to talented employees Be more resilient How Thank board members for their work Thanks volunteers in a specific and personalize way. Recognize staff who have gone above and beyond in a specific way Conduct debriefs at the end of a project or when reaching a milestone to celebrate accomplishments and re-energize around a goal Thank donors – especially in unexpected ways
WHEN IS IMPATIENCE GOOD? WHEN IS IT BAD? Impatience is good when: it motivates us to reach our goals. Or reevaluate and set a new goal. it motivates us to reduce the costs or increase the efficiency of working toward our goal. It gives us courage in the face of obstacles Impatience is bad when: It damages our relationships to others It causes us to fall into cynicism or negativity It adds stress to an already difficult situation
CRITICAL THINKING IS NOT CRITICISM Keep your impatience compassionate if you want people to hear you. We are educated to have a natural bias toward negativity. Criticism is seen as insightful and smart. Find ways to structure in a bias for action rather than critique or criticize.
THE THREE QUESTIONS BOARDS SHOULD ASK & ANSWER 18 Board’s foundational workQuestion 1. Understand the community need the organization exists to address Why do we exist? 2. Determine how the organization will respond to that need What we do and how we do it? 3. Specify the end results the board is asking the executive to achieve How will we know if we are succeeding?
20 Executive Means Board Ends Board and Executive Partnership
HOW BOARD DIRECTS THE EXECUTIVE 21 Set ambitious goals and outcomes Clarify What do you want to be sure the Executive does? What do you want them to avoid doing ?
22 Coach: “Get to the goal line but stay inbounds” Identify the end results you want Identify the limitations: things we have told you to do or not to do Allow the executive the freedom to respond to situations ‘on the field ’ END ZONE Create a safe zone so the leader can be successful
“Gratitude takes us outside ourselves where we see ourselves as part of a larger, intricate network of sustaining relationships, relationships that are mutually reciprocal,” he writes. “… gratitude is not only a response to kindnesses received, but it is also a motivator of future benevolent actions...” What three practices of gratitude can you put in place in your board and/or organization? SUMMING UP: GRATITUDE
SUMMING UP: IMPATIENCE Hone the critical thinking skills of the board Impatience can prompt commitment, action, and insight Do you really want to just help a little here and there? Or do you want to solve problems and make significant change happen? What three issues are you going to lean in on in order to accelerate the pace of change?
RESOURCES - GRATITUDE Gratitude definition page: The What, Why, and How of gratitude Gratitude definition page “Pay It Forward,” by Robert A. Emmons “Pay It Forward,” by Robert A. Emmons “Why Gratitude is Good,” by Robert A. Emmons “Why Gratitude is Good,” by Robert A. Emmons “Ten Ways to Become More Grateful,” by Robert A. Emmons “Ten Ways to Become More Grateful,” by Robert A. Emmons Pieces on gratitude from Christine Carter’s parenting blog, Raising Happiness Pieces on gratitude from Christine Carter’s parenting blog, Raising Happiness “Love, Honor, and Thank,” by Jess Alberts and Angela Trethewey “Love, Honor, and Thank,” by Jess Alberts and Angela Trethewey “Stumbling Toward Gratitude,” by Catherine Price “Stumbling Toward Gratitude,” by Catherine Price Key gratitude books, studies, and organizations.booksstudiesorganizations And take this gratitude quiz to learn how grateful you are!this gratitude quiz