“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus” – Bruce Lee
In the last 18 months, I’ve had to keep re-learning that clarity and simplicity are often the antidote to volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (the dreaded VUCA from business school).
I’ve been working on clarity and simplicity on my own and with the RevJen Team. After taking some down time with my family and wrapping up a strategic planning process with our team, I am heading into the fall with renewed clarity and focus.
What it comes down to is this: Removing barriers for changemakers in the nonprofit sector is why we exist.
And, there are three persistent challenges facing the nonprofit sector that RevJen is well-positioned and equipped to take on:
- Development talent turnover
- Leadership isolation and burnout
- Financial sustainability of nonprofit organizations
These challenges are connected and inter-related. Our sector cannot afford to lose our leaders to burnout and isolation, nor lose critical organizations to financial instability and insolvency.
These three major challenges are driven by some startling statistics:
- 16-18 months is the current average tenure of fundraising professionals, costing upwards of 2-3x salary each time they turn over (and my fear is that this number will only worsen over the next few years)
- 51% of fundraisers plan to leave their role within two years and 30% will leave or plan to leave the sector altogether
- 91% of leaders report turnover of revenue staff as one of the biggest challenges they face
- 70% of nonprofit leaders report loneliness at the top
- 4 out of the top 5 challenges nonprofit leaders say they face are about revenue
COVID has only exacerbated these persistent challenges and they won’t go away on their own. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these three challenges are costing the sector billions of dollars and are stifling growth and impact.
This clarity of purpose and direction isn’t revolutionary. But understanding and deciding that these are our three – to go after and to measure – is energizing.
We are more committed than ever to moving the needle on these three challenges.
That will mean new partnerships, alliances, investments, and content for RevJen. We’ve mapped out several new initiatives we will be excited to share with you in the coming months.
For RevJen, the discipline of simplicity and clarity is re-anchoring us in our core “why” and lighting our path forward.
I am grateful for the organizations, funding partners, and leaders who are trusting us, and joining us, to tackle these sector-wide challenges. We will get some things right, and we will have misses, but we WILL make progress. It’s an honor to do this together.