October 2012: The Relationship of Values to Planning

In this Issue

Opening Remarks

Is it really important to consider an organization’s values when engaging in a planning process? Absolutely, says Maureen Gallagher, and she explains why in this edition ofTransforming Challenges. And Senior Consultant Tom Reid offers a few suggestions for evaluating your fund development plan as we head into the home stretch of 2012.

At The Reid Group, we have a passion for helping leaders and organizations transform their challenges into opportunities to create a better world. One of the ways we do that is through this e-letter, Transforming Challenges. Is there someone you know who could benefit from receiving it? Forward this edition to them and encourage them to subscribe for themselves. They’ll thank you—and so do we!

The Reid Group News

  • The Diocese of Peoria has asked us to assist them as they move toward implementing the parish reorganization plan approved by Bishop Jenky last month.
  • John Reid participated in a seven-day study tour of Rome October 9-16 commemorating the 50th anniversary of Vatican II. He was part of a group organized by the National Association for Lay Ministry and the tour was led by Rick McCord. John found the tour inspiring and thought-provoking and may offer some reflections in future editions of Transforming Challenges.
  • Tom Reid announced last week that, in addition to his work with The Reid Group, he is launching a new venture, “Living Whole Life.” Tom describes the focus of LWL: “LWL is about calling forth the fullness and best in each of us as a person, in our relationships, in our organizations, in our communities and as part of the human family.” For more information, visit Tom’s website at www.livingwholelife.com.

So as you look at your individual or organizational future, what are your challenges? Could you benefit from skilled support? Give us a call at 206-432-3565 or send us ane-mail to start transforming those challenges into opportunities.

Quotes for Inspiration and Action

Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.
Chinese proverb

Blessed are those who give without remembering. And blessed are those who take without forgetting.
Bernard Meltzer

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.
Charles R. Swindoll

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.
Oprah Winfrey

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… do the thing you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King

Feature Focus

The Relationship of Values to Planning


Maureen Gallagher, Senior Consultant,
The Reid Group

Time after time when working with groups going through significant transitions in the course of a planning process, we have seen that given an opportunity to help create their future, they have emerged from the process with more energy for and insight into the future than they had for the present. In order for this to happen, however, it is essential that the planning process pay attention to the underlying values of the organization.

In a faith-based organization, participants see themselves participating in something much bigger than themselves. From a Judeo-Christian faith perspective, they participate in the reign of God. They share God’s life through the covenant of the first Testament, where God calls the Israelites to be God’s people, and/or through the Gospels, where people are called to share in the very life of God through Jesus Christ.

In the non-faith-based, nonprofit world where reflecting from a religious perspective might not be appropriate, it is still important to place planning in a bigger context before working on a particular focus. Giving attention to how the particular organization contributes to the common good might be a place to start.

Two examples of how the articulation of values contributed to an effective planning process:

Example 1
One organization whose primary purpose is to be part of the healing ministry of a Christian church included the following values in its planning efforts:

  • Integrity—living out moral and ethical principles
  • Service—caring for those in need with generosity and hospitality
  • Compassion—responding to the call of Jesus by sharing the suffering, hope, and joy of others
  • Inclusivity—welcoming, honoring, and fostering diversity that leads to unity
  • Leadership—being credible and prophetic with those we serve, our members, and our profession
  • Empowerment—encouraging others to use their gifts within and beyond their profession

The process of discerning these values energized the organization to think “bigger” than what they currently imagined as their mission and ministry. Those involved in the planning saw themselves as shareholders in something broader than they.

Example 2
One urban nonprofit adult learning organization which serves undereducated adults, enhanced its own self-awareness by discovering its underlying values or core beliefs. They then were able to use these to secure funding from grantors who supported the values. They stated their values as:

We believe …

  • Education is a fundamental right.
  • All people are entitled to equal educational opportunities.
  • Mutual respect is essential to our mission.
  • Each person is unique and has worth and dignity.
  • The whole person deserves development through education in a safe and supportive environment.
  • The adult learning center benefits all who participate in and contribute to its mission—staff, volunteers, students and donors.

One of the great insights this group got from struggling to succinctly speak its values was the renewed understanding that everyone involved at the center benefits, not just the students.

Faith and values underlie all successful planning. They bring a sense of meaning and purpose to the planning process. The acknowledgement that a group is planning in some way to enhance the common good or build the reign of God gives it a reason to begin what may turn out to be a difficult process. Naming the values out of which it is living empowers groups to be creative and to have a sense of purpose. They become proud of who they are and who they wish to become.


howisyesSpiritlinking Leadership: Working Through Resistance to Organizational Change
Donna Markham

Spiritlinking, the author’s original term, refers to a new way of interacting with others. Emphasizing relationships, spiritlinking affirms each individual as an expression of the energy, wisdom, spirit and culture of the group. The results of this dynamic new approach to leadership are many. Spiritlinking helps foster new ideas and service, greater productivity, a more harmonious sense of community, a way to work through resistance to change, and a deeper sense of meaning in one’s work. Integrating spirituality, psychology, and extensive leadership experience, these strategies help leaders at all levels of all kinds of organizations. This important book identifies the symptoms of resistance to change, tells how to bridge factions and promote community, shows how to provide healthy leadership–and reveals how to keep it healthy.

spiritlinkingThe Answer to How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters
Peter Block

People keep asking “How?” as a defense against living their life, says best-selling author Peter Block. In this witty, insightful award-winning book, Block shows that many standard solutions and improvement efforts, reinforced by most of the literature, keep people paralyzed. Here he places the “how to” craze in perspective and teaches individuals, workers, and managers ways to act on what they know. This in turn allows them to reclaim their freedom and capacity to create the kind of world they want to live in. Block’s “elements of choice” – the characteristic of a new workplace and a new world based on more positive values – include self-mentoring, investing in relationships, accepting the unpredictability of life, and realizing that the individual prospers only when the community does.

Feature 2

Your Development Plan: an End of the Year Checklist

Tom Reid, Senior Consultant

As we head into the last quarter of the year, it’s a good idea for your organization to review its communication and fund development plan and the progress you are making toward your fundraising goals for the year. A thorough review of the plan, coupled with careful follow-through, can position your organization for a strong finish in 2012 and an even more successful 2013.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

End of the year solicitations: the holiday season is a fruitful time to contact donors for year-end gifts, and not just because of the potential tax benefits they might accrue. The holidays are a time for reflecting on and giving thanks for the blessings people have experienced. Ask your donors to consider making a gift, ideally a multi-year gift, in celebration and thanksgiving for a loved one’s life. Remind them of the option of remembering your organization in their will, so that they can continue to support your good work.

Update your database: A truly-never ending task. As you prepare your end of the year solicitation, make sure you have all the latest information in your database, including donor contact information, important donor dates (e.g. birthdays, anniversaries, etc.), solicitations they have responded to, and history of giving levels. Do an analysis of your various fundraising activities during the year and compare it with previous years. This will set you up for preparing your strategic communication and fund development plan for the coming year.

Planning for 2013: This starts with reviewing 2012. What has worked that you want to continue? What has outlived its usefulness or requires a transfusion or overhaul? What are the key learnings and ideas that you want to introduce in the 2013?

The last quarter of the year is a time for looking back and looking forward—both for your donors and for your organization itself. Make the most of it, and your organization will reap the reward in 2013 and beyond.


The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning

Think about what your organization could do if the process of planning met the inevitability of change head-on—and it resulted in significant success.

Organizations large and small, religious and secular, for-profit and not-for-profit, successful and unsuccessful, go through change. John Reid and Maureen Gallagher of the Reid Group have been instrumental in helping many groups discover the power of Prophetic Planning. This book presents a complete overview with detailed information that any organization will find useful in understanding how to plan for change.

The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning, and its companion CD are now available from Liguori Publications as well as from Amazon.com.


And that’s it for this month. Look for Transforming Challenges next month–and until then, have a good day and a great week.
Kathy Johnson, Editor
Transforming Challenges
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