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  • Writer's pictureThe MSG Team


Ok class . . . time to get those text books out and prepare for history class. Over the next few weeks you are going to dive deep into your organization and learn a few things you did not know before.

In all seriousness though, before you go into the storage closest and rip out all those old programs and photos, let's explain WHY learning more about your organizations history is so important.

1) If you want to be respected . . . act like you know what you are talking about. How can you possibly be taken seriously if you can't tell people what year you started, who some of the past directors were, who some of the past board members were, how programs may have changed over the years, or even how programs/budget has changed over the years. Would you buy a Ford from a Ford salesperson who did not know anything about Fords?

2) If you want to keep past supporters engaged . . . talk about the past. Being nostalgic is something many people enjoy. Taking that little trip down memory lane is an awesome way to keep folks feeling part of the team. Let people remember those times when they were on the board, volunteering, or that fun event they attended for the first time. Here's an idea If you have not watched it yet, be sure to watch the video below, to see how a POTENTIAL Zoom reunion with past directors could go.

3) Don't just be stuck in the past . . . connect it to the present and the future. As we stated, it is enjoyable to talk about the past . . . but don't stop there. Talk to that past supporter about how your organization has grown over the years or what exciting projects you may have in store for the future. Seeing growth and how they made a difference makes people smile.

4) Be free from statistics . . . and bring those supporters back. Experts will tell you that you will lose anywhere from 20% - 45% of your donors each year. That is one heck of a scary number. So do your best to keep supporters involved and beat those stats. Make them feel like they are PART of history and part of the future. Don't just knock on their doors when you need money.

So here is your homework. During the next two weeks of 2020, take a few moments of quiet time and do a little digging. Search through the office for old photos, learn about the birth of your organization, sit down with past board members, or even look at an old Form 990 or two. Learning about you organization's history will not only help grow your nonprofit but it will help grow YOU as a person.


Find out how Midwest Studies Group can help increase your resource development capacity by connecting you with community through feasibility studies, need assessment studies, planned giving studies, and EOS. Visit

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