Why We Need the Fearless Conversation

Photo by Digital Sextant

The nonprofit sector needs the Be Fearless campaign spearheaded by The Case Foundation and its CEO Jean Case. Let’s be honest: If you are a regular reader here, you probably embrace change and risk well. But most of our larger and older institutions in the nonprofit sector avoid risk.

We love our nonprofits, small and larger, new to social media, and risk takers alike. But the biggest barrier to success we see with social fundraising is an inability to take a chance and try something new.

Instead, most of the our more staid community members prefer to sit back and wait until it seems safe to engage in a new form of outreach. They’d rather be a late adopter than take the risk of a public failure, even if it be in a “green field” like Pinterest.

What happens?

We are left with strangely polarized groups in the sector. The digital haves and have nots, with large NPOs trying to buy their way in after the fact.

By waiting, they enter when their participation means the least. Consider how large NPOs like the Humane Society, American Red Cross, and LIVESTRONG who got involved with social media early. They have achieved and continue to sustain leadership positions than their more risk-adverse sister nonprofits, which simply cannot replicate even with massive budgets.

Like the old cliche says, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” But more importantly, innovating on the way we interact with each other, donors, volunteers, and the general public can only make for a better social sector. I can’t understand the fear when we’re supposed to be creating change.

Kudos to Jean for taking the risk of leading us into a more courageous era!

Is your organization a risk taker or risk adverse? Why?

Full Disclosure: Jean Case is keynoting Nonprofit 2.0 on June 15. Mightycause is a sponsor of this conference. The Case Foundation also released “How Giving Contests Can Strengthen Nonprofits and Communities,” a white paper based on Mightycause’s Give to the Max Day: Greater Washington.