Recently I spent time on the receiving end of two great nonprofits, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and Ronald McDonald House (RMH). Both organizations do amazing work to serve families.
I’ve spent over 18 years as a leader in nonprofits, so whenever I have a chance to be the customer/patient I pay attention. I’m watching for the insights that can only be mine through the eyes of a recipient.
It is impossible to see all the assumptions you make about your own organization as a provider, but as a recipient you clearly see the assumptions other’s are making in their organization. Often the best way to evaluate what you do is to be on the receiving end of what others do.
The impetus for every nonprofit is a cause, and effective nonprofits clarify a compelling mission around that cause.
RMH keeps families together to help kids heal faster and cope better. My family interacted with dozens of employees and volunteers at RMH who embodied that mission. We also encountered a few who had forgotten the mission and where just keeping the rules.
This past week my recipient eyes noticed that nonprofits attract two kinds of people: mission pursers and rule keepers. Here is the difference: