Chameleons are Dumb

May 11, 2008

Posted in Fundraising.

That’s right, I said what we’ve all been thinking. Chameleons are dumb.

Or, at least, emulating a chameleon is dumb.

In the unending quest for funding, it’s tempting to apply for all kinds of grants. These grants are intended to address a wide range of issues: literacy, poverty, environment, etc. Of course, the hot new issue has a lot of cash behind it.

It seems natural…you need money and they have money. So you apply, tweaking your program to best suit the grant. Ever agile, you nimbly position your organization to best meet the grantmaker’s criteria.

And you lose. Even if you get the money, you lose.

You lose your identity.

You’ll have to do the same kind of organizational gymnastics to meet the next grant that comes along, and ultimately you’ll become an ambulance chaser. After all, how can you represent a vision for something you don’t truly believe in?

Stick to your mission. Find funding sources that match your organization’s goals. And don’t shift your colors every time a new backdrop appears.

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