A Nonprofit’s Magic: It’s In the Secret Sauce
You may be wondering why I would align the dedicated and hard work of nonprofit organizations with magic. Magic is believed to be part of fantasy as well as have other negative connotations. But, many of us catch ourselves wishing for things that we do not have. We at times share the fantasy of magic to hope for something that is not currently part of our reality. I’m sure many nonprofit leaders, managers, staff and volunteers have at one moment in time ‘wished’ for more money, stronger partners, additional manpower, better perks, etc. So, do nonprofits have the magic to make these things happen? I believe that they each have a secret sauce to make magic!
As per Google’s Definition, magic is “the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces”. Informally, it can also mean, “wonderful; exciting.” I believe that the work that nonprofits do is supernatural. Many nonprofits take steps for others with little compensation, recognition or reward in return. Such feats are pretty supernatural to me. It is not in many people’s natural tendency to pursue their passion if it may not give strong returns. But, let’s look at the returns; they are not less, just different. Therefore I see nonprofits’ work as definitely ‘wonderful and exciting’!
I believe that all businesses have a recipe of ingredients that make up their ‘secret sauce’ to help them make magic and make an impact. For example, Steve Jobs was the secret sauce for Apple. The Google culture is the ‘secret sauce’ for Google. Entrepreneurial endeavors of selling cookies is the ‘secret sauce’ for the Girl Scouts.
By using this secret sauce, nonprofits can make magic and, as per the definition, influence the course of events. I love to refer to the March of Dimes as an example. This organization was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to fight polio. As per the website, “…the foundation established a polio patient aid program and funded research for vaccines developed by Jonas Salk, MD and Albert Sabin, MD. These vaccines effectively ended epidemic polio in the United States.” (Underline added). Funding research for vaccines and widespread vaccinations was their secret sauce to create magic.
What is a nonprofit’s magic? Their ability to:
- Build a business out of a passion.
- Identify and serve populations that can be hard for others to work with.
- Provide (for individuals, animals and communities).
- Persevere without many perks (that the for-profit world may get).
- Change our social landscape so that disadvantaged populations have a better chance to be on equal footing.
- Serve, support and love when others don’t find that profitable enough to do what’s important.
Nonprofits may not be known for making big profits, but nonprofits can make BIG IMPACT! That’s the magic which is created by the secret sauce of each individual nonprofit. Each nonprofit has its own recipe for their secret sauce. What’s your nonprofit’s special sauce to make your magic?
Photo credit to: Microsoft Office Clip Art