A Recipe for Success

I bought an air fryer last weekend. My wife is convinced that I will use it once or twice before it takes its shameful place on our shelf of misfit appliances, right next to the Instant Pot pressure cooker, Ninja blender, and other must have items I have purchased in recent years.

I, on the other hand, see this nifty little air fryer as my ticket to simple, healthy, high-quality home cooking in a fraction of the time of a conventional oven. That is what the advertisement said.

All I need now are some great recipes.

I know that our loyal readers care more about helping your community than helping me learn how to be a better cook, but I am willing to trade for your best air fryer recipes, offering in exchange a simple but impressive recipe for helping you build a strong, healthy, and sustainable nonprofit. Sound like a fair trade? Here is my recipe.

Start with the BEST ingredients! Creating a great non-profit organization requires investments in the key ingredients, the best people, delivery methods, tools, and training to do things right. This should be a no brainer. But, too often, investment gets overshadowed by a scarcity mentality that many nonprofit executives and board members wear like a badge of honor. Instead of living with a fear of failing, build the resolve among your leadership to seek out the investments you need to create a solid organizational base for your work.

Next, make sure you have a clear, focused, and relevant mission that is the bowl that holds every aspect of our organization in place. Don’t ruin things by throwing in a lot of fancy words. Keep it simple so that everyone you share it with can understand it and embrace it. And no matter how tempting it might be, never water down your mission simply because someone offers to throw extra money your way for you to do something that does not aligned with your core purpose.

Along with that purposeful mission, you will need a set of strong, unwavering values that show up in every interaction that you and your team have with clients, donors, volunteers, and with each other. Even when (or especially when) times are tough, having these core values in place and championed in every situation will demonstrate to your community what is most important to you as you strive to fulfill your mission, in the good times and the bad.

Add enough people to get the desired taste, texture, and flavor you want for your organization. These should be people who share those common values we just mixed in, understand and embrace that primary ingredient we call mission, and are ready to sign up to help execute on that mission every day. The number of people you need will vary depending on the size and needs of your community. Whether your recipe calls for a lot of people or just a few, make sure you shop around for the absolute best team members you can find. Do not be penny wise and pound foolish with this ingredient. People are the connectors that bind everything together, so it is important that you get this part right. Without quality people serving on your board, leading your team, raising and managing your resources, serving your clients, taking care of your systems and equipment, and looking after each other, all the other ingredients will not make up for the losses in quality that the wrong team will create.

Once you have properly mixed these ingredients, pay careful attention to your organizational masterpiece to ensure things cook evenly and fully. You will know things are ready when you start to see the stories of impact and success rise to the top, making it clear that you are ready to serve.

And finally, please be generous in the portions you share with others and be sure to send your air fryer recipes my way.

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