Every winter break I pick a good book from my shelves, dust it off and spend a day or two re-reading it. As it happens this year I picked up Anita Roddick's autobigoraphy 'Business as Unusual.' And I truly got inspired and challenged by the story of this amazing 'gutsy' woman who changed the way we think about ethically responsible business and the role women can play in it.
But, that is not what I want to focus on today. Anita's insights and comments about The Body Shop's sucess got me thinking about: What does 'business as unusual' means for charities in 2009? What does it mean for your charity?
Does 'business as unusual' mean simply cutting down on fundraising staff, your charity programmes and initiatives or your promotional budgets? The accountants would certainly approve of such decisions but what about the rest of us?
One of my McConkey Johnston colleagues in the US said something recently that has stayed with me - the charities that are going to weather these financial storms, he said, are those who will do all they can to keep their cause in front of their supporters... those who will think creatively and act decisively to stay on the top three list of charities people would like to give to in 2009?
Now, as you embark on implementing your fundraising plan for this year - what is it that you are going to do differently? What is it that you are going to invest in wisely and promote passionately? What will make your charity stand out from the crowd and be your unique trademark of 'business as unusual'?