Editor's Note: This is an update of a blog that was posted on June 16, 2017.
Whether you’re securing a new job, or if you are a sales person at a company or a fundraiser at a non-profit, it comes down to relationships. Organizations truly are the people who work there. People give to people and people buy from people. Successful people have a large professional network, have integrity and believe in their products or services.
Many organizations, employees and their Boards don’t understand the value of professional relationships that their employees have developed over many years and even many decades. Case in point, the Board of a nonprofit organization that had been financially successful for more than a decade, restructured the organization. An executive was informed that they would no longer have a role at the organization. In the four years that have followed, the organization has cumulatively lost $3,269,440 in grants, donations and corporate sponsorships and has been deficit spending ever year during the past four years. The organization's reserves declined 78% during the last four years, used to cover their deficit spending. Here is a link to page 14 of the organization's 2017 990 IRS reporting form.
Why did this happen? People give to people and people buy from people. After the executive was gone, no one else had the same deep connections with the people and companies who were their source of revenue. Many who became aware of the reorganization also questioned the integrity of its Board of Directors and the integrity of the organization.
Carrie Morgridge runs the Morgridge Family Foundation who in 15 years has made more than $75 million in donations. She said "If anyone ever treats people with disrespect, I pull my money. These relationships start with trust, but the second I can’t trust you, I’m out."
Build deep and trusting relationships and they will benefit you and the organization you work for. People give to people and people buy from people.