#PopeinDC via Fast Company

Fast CompanyI know I have this fundraising v fund catching series going on – and have interrupted once with a #PopeinDC post. But this article from Fast Company – Five Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis is spot on.


Marcus Lemonis would agree!

So quick version of the five lessons. You can read the full article here.

  1. Be accessible – Think Pope Francis working the rope line. So much more than “I have an open door.” He is proactively seeking opportunities to connect. If our fundraising work isn’t about internal and external audiences, I don’t know what is. As Jerry Panas says, “There are no donors in our offices.
  2. Don’t ignore social media – Did you EVER think there would be a time when @pontifex would have a TWITTER account? In nine languages (see #1 above). What would our donors think, do, react to a consistent social media feed on our mission and work? The ones on social media – we have others ways to connect to those who aren’t. See Seth Godin’s blog – The 2% who misunderstand you.
  3. Flatten your organization – “Boston College Graduate School of Social Work referred to him as an “intrepreneur”—someone who generates genuine, sustainable change in an organization that’s resistant to it.” I am sure if the Bishop in Rome – the new name he took instead of Supreme Pontiff – can do this and take the risk at the Vatican (in less than two years) we can make similar positive change within our nonprofit organizations and fundraising teams.
  4. Take risks – Although his Holiness does have God on his side – so he may not worry about risk like we do and his staff may a lot, he does what he thinks is right in his heart. He follows his instinct. From Fast Company, “Risk is vital to your business’s growth and your own development as a leader. Risk can help you rise, even though it sometimes leads to failure. But it will always prove a worthy teacher.”  I say, ask yourself, “What would Pope Francis do?
  5. Value input from subordinates – I have alway believed everyone has a voice at the table and just because we are “leaders” doesn’t mean we have to lead all the time. Take a risk – others on our fundraising team have ideas, solutions and questions that are important and valuable. Think about who should lead your next nonprofit or fundraising team meeting or solve the next challenge.

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