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Not All Storms Come to Disrupt Your Life . . . Some Come to Clear Your Path
Nonprofit Management

By Dawn Robinson, Senior Consultant 


I keep seeing memes and things about how 2020 is only getting a one-star rating and should be a do over year.  Honestly, I somewhat disagree.


Yes, we have had significant loss of lives due COVID-19 and my heart goes out to all the families and employees who have been on the front line of this pandemic. I am keeping them in my prayers.  On the other hand, I believe we should also look at what 2020 forced us all to do, which was innovate and pivot!


At the beginning of the pandemic, I heard a quote by an unknown author that has stuck with me: Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path!


In the nonprofit sector this disruption has made leaders try new things – like embracing social media, e-technology, and communicating with donors virtually. It’s also forced us to reimagine or abandon activities that we always did for the sake of doing them – who else isn’t sad there won’t be another golf outing that yields little to no revenue.


As I connect with nonprofit professionals, I have heard examples of how paths have been cleared and professionals have taken action even quicker. For example, one nonprofit professional shared the other day about how they are using technology. “We have learned practices in technology that normally take four years in just two quick months and also created routines.” That’s incredible and wouldn’t have happened without being forced to lean in and adapt.


This time has also brought clarity to the importance of personal gratitude. Before the pandemic many were getting into a routine of not expressing gratitude, treating donors like ATM machines and viewing the act of giving and volunteering as a transaction.  The disruption caused reflection at how we express gratitude personally in a time when we couldn’t go have coffee or meet face-to-face. It caused us to reflect on how we were saying thank you to the donors, volunteers and stakeholders that stepped to the frontline and helped during these times of uncertainty. Whether we give $5 or $50,000, or donate one hour or 1,000 hours of our time, we all long for sincere relationships and authentic appreciation.


There are many other ways that paths were cleared in the nonprofit sector. As we move through this time, look for ways that some of your paths were cleared and out of chaos came clarity, and new routines were created to pivot your organization and team to thrive and fulfill your organization’s mission.


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