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A leap of faith: from scarcity to abundance for non-profits

Challenge yourself to see abundance—and the results will amaze you

In February of 2017 I made a decision to move from doing community-based contract work with my local planning tables – work I loved! – to doing more consulting and facilitation. Of course, I also love this work, as it’s just a different type of relationship with the same people.

It was a risk. Even with as much planning and the marketing I’d done to prepare for the transition, my knees were knocking and I was afraid that the contracts would not be there to support me.

For the first six months, I had a few contracts with those organizations that I’d had long-term relationships with. But the work wasn’t flowing and I was afraid that I’d made a BIG mistake. It was really easy to slide into the negative: to focus on the scarcity of work, the lack of contracts, and the lack of money.

However, I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time. I knew it was time to make some changes and challenge my mindset. A trip to the beach with a fellow entrepreneur was exactly what I needed. And the results were almost immediate!

She challenged me to look around and see the abundance that surrounded me in the Lower Mainland—to look at the million-dollar homes that so many of my friends and colleagues owned, the money that was flowing through these households annually—and to question whether scarcity was the issue or if it was something else that was holding me back.

It was an interesting shift. Instead of focusing on what wasn’t available, I began to appreciate what I had. I focused on showing gratitude for those people, opportunities, and advantages I had… and my whole mindset shifted to abundance.

Within six weeks, I had referrals coming in. I booked enough work in for the following six months that I needed to inquire into flexibility of client timelines and negotiate dates further out. What a relief it was to have contracts in place for six months down the road!

Needless to say, I’m keeping my focus on abundance to see where it leads me…

So why am I sharing this you, the non-profit leader?

In my experience, non-profit leaders focus on the next grant, the upcoming funding cycle, and the ever-changing parameters that funders put in place… and as a result are always trying to find new ways to do more with less.

But maybe if non-profit leaders shifted their perspectives and looked around their communities through an “abundance lens,” the reliance on these funding cycles would be different.

Maybe they would discover that there are individuals and companies in their community who believe in the work they are doing and who are willing to volunteer their time, sponsor an event or activity, or become the champions their non-profit needs to help them get their message out to those who can help. Maybe if they approached these conversations from a place of “abundance” the result would be different?

What if we thought it terms of abundance … that everything our organization needs is out there. What might we uncover? It’s a simple mind shift that doesn’t cost anything. Are you and your team up for the challenge? What actions will you and your organization take to adopt an abundance mindset and action oriented perspective?

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