How do you get inspiration?

alan-claytonA guest blog by Alan Clayton

Inspiration – that enigmatic non-tangible thing that creates a burst of emotion. It makes us do stuff.

When we are inspired our thoughts and dreams about making change happen turn into the compulsion to act. Finding inspiration, focussing it and keeping it is hard work and demands huge amounts of emotional energy.

If you are a fundraiser, you already understand the need for emotion to inspire your donors to give. But in a complex organisation, often with conflicting priorities, egos of all shapes and sizes, and politics with a small ‘p’, the emotional message can get lost. We default to the safety of corporate messaging and evidence-based narratives that are devoid of all feeling. And when this happens fundraising growth falters.

Great fundraising organisations, where income grows significantly year on year know that inspiration is the key to success. In these organisations inspiration is not reserved for the people with fundraising in their job title, inspiration ripples throughout the whole organisation. Everyone is inspired by the same mission, and by raising all the money required to achieve it. When this is understood, everyone is a proud fundraiser regardless of their job title. And when fundraising is the remit of the whole organisation there is no conflict. No compromise. Only substantial growth that has a significant impact on the mission.

But how do you get inspiration?

The moment of inspiration occurs when the complex becomes simple. But simple is not easy.

To be inspired you must work in the emotional space. It is the only way to reconnect with the vision, belief and passion which created your organisation in the first place. It is how you create the big ideas that will help you double, triple or even quadruple your income.

Inspiration must be led by an emotional, uncompromising leader. It must be led by your CEO.

Your CEO is responsible for inspiring the whole organisation behind your core purpose – igniting passion, reinforcing pride, leading performance and growing profits. They need to instil belief in the mission and the fundraising required to achieve it.

To do this they must get teams talking. They must inspire them by sharing emotional stories, of the difference that you are making to the world.

And it is these, simple stories, that unleash the inspiration of your organisation, unifying and aligning the organisational culture. It can only be achieved by gaining the trust of all departments, board members and staff. And by demonstrating that emotional power comes from the ‘truth, well told’ no more, no less.

Simple but not easy.

The question now is; do you want to be inspired?

If the answer is yes, there are still a few tickets to join Alan on 12 September in London to help you unite your whole organisation behind its fundraising and achieve significant growth. Tickets are £48 and you can sign up here.

Alan Clayton is chairman of Alan Clayton Associates and Karat Marketing and Managing Partner of the Inch Hotel, Loch Ness.

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