Your organization has an important mission. And Kim understands that day in and day out you are helping to fulfill that mission and serve your community. And as important as the daily tasks are, it’s equally important to secure your organization’s future by sustaining your resources.
For many, the first thoughts are “more money, more funding, that’s what we need!”
Yes, capital is part of your resources, but so are many other things. You have resources that you may not have even considered and you can leverage those to help with sustainability.
- Human capital – a carefully grown strong membership.
- A credible process – (Strategic Prevention Framework, SPF) assessment, capacity building, planning, implementation, & evaluation For more information on SPF click here.
- A connection to current community needs
- Resources other than money: space, technology, tools, volunteer & staff training and partnerships. These are all things you can bring to the table when asking for help from others!
Gather your stakeholders and answer these questions.
- Why is sustainability important? [Understand]
Sustainability is the ability to recruit, educate, and train human service agencies, businesses, faith communities. education (primary to collegiate), local government, and community individuals (to include youth and young adults) in credible processes, such as the Strategic Prevention Framework, to coordinate existing local resources to address identified community-level issues and opportunities” (K. Brown, personal communication, September 16, 2019).
- Who are local community resource partners? [Connect]
Connection to current community needs is paramount. Who else in your community is bringing together human service and government agencies; businesses; primary, secondary, and collegiate education; faith organizations, youth, young adults, and families to focus on specific community-level issues? It’s important to identify potential resource partners so that efforts aren’t duplicated and resources can be pooled.
- Can we build on existing local resources and function as a collaborative? [Partner]
How are you leveraging your resources so that you can continue to provide important services to your community? Building a strong foundation of engaged community partners is the number one priority to achieve community-level goals.
In our research, we discovered that the best known win-win approach to negotiation was developed by Fisher and Ury (1981) Getting to Yes.
The authors presented four strategies for principled bargaining:
- Separate people from the problem
- Focus on interests, not positions
- Invent options for mutual gain instead of locking on the first alternative that comes to mind
- Insist on objective criteria – standards of fairness for both substance and procedure
Have you considered a coalition for sustainability?
A coalition is a formal group of human services agencies and organizations, businesses, education, faith community, civic and volunteer groups, local government, law enforcement, local media, and community members across the lifespan; especially youth and young adults. They can be the lifeblood of sustainability. And, they are a win-win. A successful coalition benefits each organization and integrates with the process.
To learn more about how to build a successful coalition, read our blog here.
If you’re not ready to take that step, it’s important to understand that sustainability comes with local engagement, coordination, and delivery of existing human service resources that promote and foster community-level wellness and resiliency.
The number one way you can ensure your organization’s sustainability is to focus on these must be in a win/win world, where each individual, group or organization is bringing their fair share to the table. This is what it’s all about!
How can you connect with individuals and other organizations? Make a list of all the things that you can bring to the table; encourage other organizations to do that same; compare notes. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship…and the beginning of securing your sustainability.