I’m hosting a webinar tomorrow for the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York: Processes & Automation for Fundraising Success. I asked my fiance Ryan to proofread my materials, and after review, he said, “This is about minimizing ‘key person risk.'”

“Key person what?” I asked.

“Key person risk. You know, when you have a material dependency on a singular person or certain individuals,” he replied.

When I stopped laughing, I said “Oh babe, that’s basically how nonprofits work! Every company I’ve ever worked for depends almost completely on ‘key persons.'”

Something that’s well understood, and frankly easier to do, in large corporations, is the need to reduce your dependencies. Nonprofits and small businesses, while leaner and meaner in my personal (and right) opinion, tend to dive headfirst into dependence on a few key players. This is why transitions, and VACATIONS, are so much harder in the mission-driven universe. No one can do our work for us because we are the only ones with the knowledge and tools to get it done.

While I understand the drive to be indispensable, we don’t need to gatekeep everything we do. In the words of my very wise partner, “You want to limit your ‘key person’ risks to the things that really matter.”

In mission-driven speak, I think this means that we should focus on perfecting the things that only we can do, and systemize, automate, and delegate everything else. As a fundraiser, this means that I’ve created processes and automation that anyone on my team (or any one of my clients) can pick up and run with in my absence. Because truthfully, my greatest value-add is in my ability to create excellent fundraising strategy and build relationships.

Have you ever wished that you could put some of your work on autopilot? Or at least delegate more of it? Join me tomorrow for Processes & Automation for Fundraising Success. At the very least, you’ll witness my first live webinar and can mock me forever after. Best case scenario, you’ll gain some valuable tools and suggestions that will make you more efficient so you can focus on what’s important.

About the Author Aubrie Fennecken

Aubrie Fennecken is the Chief Alchemist at Opportunity Kitchen | work + wellness strategist | nonprofit fundraising expert | providing productivity and self-care support for mission-driven humans

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