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It's About Relationships

Editor's Note: This is an update of a blog that was posted on September 9, 2018.

Whether you’re securing a new job, or if you are a salesperson 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, including their Board of Directors, don’t understand the value of professional relationships that their employees have developed over many years and many decades. Case in point, the Board of a nonprofit organization that had been financially successful for more than a decade, restructured the organization. The organization's top executive was informed they no longer had a role at the organization. In the six years that followed, the organization has cumulatively lost more than $5 million in grants, donations and corporate sponsorships and has been deficit spending every year since. The organization's reserves declined 75% during the last six years which has been used to cover their deficit spending. They've also had two CEO's and a 60% churn in staff during the last six years.

Why did this happen? People give to people and people buy from people. After the top executive was gone, no one else had the same deep connections with the people and companies who were their source of revenue. When supporters became aware of the reorganization, they questioned the integrity of its Board of Directors and the integrity of the organization.

Carrie Morgridge runs the Morgridge Family Foundation who 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.

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